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SASAMI – MOTH Club, Hackney, London – 24/09/2019

The Memorable Order of the Tin Hats Club in Hackney has risen to prominence fairly recently in no small part due to the NME Club rebirth with Dave Grohl and Rick Astley forming a weird supergroup, but also by the scene building in and around London as a whole, started by Fat White Family, with Shame, HMLTDGoat Girl, Sorry etc. etc. taking up residence in the more interesting venues around town, such as The Windmill in Brixton and tonights venue.

The MOTH club is sparkly gold and pink across the roof and onto the stage but the walls have plaques and boards that could commemorate victorious bowls teams or Bridge champions. If Jez and Super Han’s got hold of a Working Man’s Club, compromised on the lager and nuts but left the 1973 Darts Winners trophies up and moved the washing machine into the back room.

Shame bassist Josh Finerty is actually directly in front of GIITTV this evening to watch American singer songwriter SASAMI play her only UK gig of this part of the tour. She had crossed this sceptred isle at the beginning of the month but this was a stand alone, sold out show.

Her debut record was released on Domino Records earlier this year, which whilst a beautiful record, does not prepare you for SASAMI live.

There was always an element of the West Coast grunge about the LP but on stage this is ramped up to almost unrecognisable levels. At points it could be Nirvana up there, a blistering trio, all you can see are arms and hair from behind the drum kit, the fuzz bass fizzing about, whilst Sasami herself wrestles her guitar to screeching feed back before halting and replacing it with gentle vocals, minimal accompaniment, fading to silence…..

Sasami wears her heart, and politics, very much on her sleeve. Inclusiveness and diversity are vital to her and it had created a little bit of controversy when her requests that women and people of colour were given priority at the front of the stage at an earlier gig, but the crowd tonight was a happy mixture of all of human life and it felt like a communal gathering of like minded people.

Beginning with a rearranged order of the opening three tracks from her eponymous debut, Morning Comes’, I Was A Window’ and Not The Time’, for a first timer to her live show the noise and volume is startling but a pleasant surprise. A touring three piece is naturally restricted to the number of instruments they can play but the songs become different beasts, metamorphosed into snarling animals, the paradox of harsh, distorted instrumentation and sweet voice evokes the likes of Giant Drag and the calm before the snap of a wild cat that sits somewhere between Wolf Alice and Hole.

Unsurprisingly the set is made up of her LP with ace new single Take Care’ in the middle, some of the more laid back tracks, such as In Hollywood’ are omitted to keep everybody moving but the songs are nuanced enough to allow light and shade at every turn without sounding muddled or confused.

Diminutive in person, but a wailing banshee in front of an audience, making the guitar squeal and sing, what her next move will be is anyone guess.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.