First Aid Kit live in London
- By Greg Rose -
- Jun 26, 2012
The trio were faced with a huge audience as they took to the stage, many of whom seemed nonplussed about hearing some flittering Swedish folk for starters before jack's blues-drenched main course. However, First Aid Kit have the vocals to make the most abstracted gig-goer pay attention. Dozens of heads turned simultaneously to tell their neighbours "they've got some lungs on them, those girls," as Johanna and Klara sung 'Blue'.
They burst into public consciousness with a startling Fleet Foxes cover a few years back - again it was the voices that really pierced through the thousands of other proponents of sweet and simple folk. So it was fitting to see another well-judged cover make an appearance, this time 'When I Grow Up' from their countrywoman Fever Ray. The band wear their influences brazenly and unashamedly, as the candy-coated 'Emmylou' also confirms.
The only time their inexperience really stands out is in the attempted rock-outs that close tracks like 'The Lion's Roar'. While no doubt very fun to shake your mane hair metal-style, it doesn't quite fit with the plintely-plonk of a keyboard crescendo. Even the drummer (whose locks aren't quite as long) got involved despite being largely redundant for most of the set.
Closer 'King of the World' was a standout song, acting as a partner to their previous royal nod 'I Met Up with the King'. There's a simplicity to their lyrics that helps ingrain them in your mind by the second chorus, let alone the second listen. Still, you are left remembering the clarity and power of the sisters' vocals long after their compositions have faded.
As for Jack White? Well, of course he still outshone First Aid Kit - and just about every other act to set foot onstage in 2012 - and there's no shame in that. This wasn't a competition, but if it was, everyone was a winner.