BPREVIEW: Warpaint @ O2 Institute 22.03.17



Words by Ed King

On Wednesday 22nd March, Warpaint come to the O2 Institute – with support from a band on the punkier side of the UK Rough Trade roster, Shame.

Doors open at 7pm with tickets priced at £21 (+booking fee), as presented by Crosstown Concerts. Minimum age for entry is 14 with under 16s requiring adult accompaniment. For direct gig info, including full venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Warpaint come to the O2 Institute in Birmingham for the first date in their six date UK & Ireland tour, including a set at the BBC 6 Music Festival in Glasgow. On the road promoting their third studio album, Heads Up, Warpaint land back on British shores after six dates across mainland Europe.

And Heads Up is what’s it’s all about right now for Warpaint, with only a handful of songs from their latest LP making it onto the previous tour’s set list. As Theresa Wayman told Clash Magazine in late 2016, “right now we only have five new songs in the set, which doesn’t feel like enough”.

But Heads Up is an arguable transition for Warpaint, with a new approach to writing and recording bringing a broader spectrum of styles and tempo; the opiate haze from much of Warpaint’s back catalogue now has the odd disco biscuit bounce and white line shuffle to keep it on its toes. There’s even a Soulwax remix.

The crowds seem to be toying with a chance of pace too, as Warpaint’s last gig in Manchester received a respectable mosh pit response. “We played ‘Love Is To Die’, ‘New Song’ and ‘Disco/Very’ all in a row” continues Wayman in her interview with Clash, “and people were moshing pretty hard. But we did the same set in Edinburgh the night before and it was completely the opposite, so I don’t know what the secret is really.”

But with Jake Bercovici back at the helm, who produced Warpaint’s debut Exquisite Corpse EP, it’s not a total clean slate. And lots of Heads Up harks back to the shoegaze dream rock of releases gone by. Not that any of this matters until you see it on stage, and with Birmingham getting the first UK look at an amended set list it would be rude not to form a new opinion.

In the meantime, check out a couple of strands from the new Warpaint spectrum with the following tracks featured back to back on their Heads Up LP.

 ‘New Song’ (YouTube video) – Warpaint


‘The Stall’ (recorded by NPR Music at the 9:30 Club, Washington D.C.) – Warpaint

Warpaint perform at the O2 Institute on Wednesday 22nd March, with support from Shame – as presented Crosstown Concerts. For direct gig info and online tickets sales, click here.


For more on Warpaint, visit www.warpaintwarpaint.com

For more on Shame, visit www.facebook.com/shamebanduk

For more from the O2 Institute, including full event listing and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham


For more from Rough Trade, visit www.roughtrade.com

For more from Crosstown Concerts, visit www.crosstownconcerts.com