Photo by Sporting a cult-like following in both the UK and the US, Kristine Meredith Flaherty, better known as her moniker K.Flay, easily sold out two nights at London’s Camden Assembly earlier in the week. The Illinois native has a strange, often quavering voice, that seems to rip out of her when she performs. Her backing band shift wildly between a loosely hip-hop inspired sound, to one that has more of a place within the realms of the psychedelic.
Opening to a modest crowd was Mirror Fury. Born and bred in the UK, and packing a full band set up, their music was stripped back and relied heavily on front woman Carina Bragg’s deeply effective lyrics. “This is a song” she lamented, “for anyone who has lost someone to an addiction. Our dad lost his best mate too alcohol addiction, and we wrote this song together”. The track acted as a strange moment of silence, in tribute to the all too familiar human experience of loss, connecting with an appreciative audience.
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K.Flay was lead onto the stage with a backing of her own echoing vocals. Encapsulating her style perfectly, the introduction was accompanied by a heavily warped guitar line. She bounced onto the stage, a vision in black and full of energy; “We kind of feel like this is home now, we’ve been here for two days!” She announced. “Thank you for coming to our place!” Reeling through songs new and old, K.Flay had the whole crowd with her the whole way, with their voices often drowning out her own.
At the half-time point, K.Flay launched into the obligatory youth ice-breaker; Donald Trump. “I don’t usually go on twitter, but the other day I happen to see Trumps’. It’s disgraceful and shameful”. Out of the crowd came a hand wrapped in a t-shirt, with the words “The President Has A Sex Tape” scrawled across the front. The picture featured Vladimir Putin sat demurely in a chair, with Donald Trump to his left, gazing down at him fondly… “This is the perfect introduction to the next song!” Flay shouted. The song of the same title draws a comparison between hedonistic and illegal behavior with the actions of government and corporate institutions. The whole bit couldn’t have been planned better, putting across a strong message of defiance.
K.Flay brought a flavor of the strange and warped to Camden Assembly. With hair caked to their sweaty faces, her and her backing band trooped off the stage to raucous applause.