I’ve heard lots of good things about the North London venue Luminaire. I’ve heard about the London band Viarosa even more good things. Finally on a Friday night in January I get chance to see both. I get off at Kilburn tube station and then head down the road looking for the venue. A scary looking bouncer guards the venue’s wooden door but when I get closer to him he gives me a kind smile and invites me inside. There are stairs leading up to the door at the end of it.

When I walk into the venue the main supporting band who are called Bat for Lashes are just going on the stage. They are a 5 girl band, all dressed in smart black clothes. Their music sounds very gentle and calm as does lead singer Natasha Khan's voice. Perhaps it’s a bit too gentle as it seems to have fight for its presence a little. Having said that though the stage is surrounded by so many fans that you can hardly see the band.

Viarosa come on the stage just after 10. Richard Neuberg, the lead singer, grabs a microphone and greets the fans and then they are straight into their set. I worried my expectations were too high but what I’m hearing is better still. Mystical music, empowered by guitars, drums and a violin, guide the audience closer to the stage. A few people even settle on the floor right in front of the stage.

The double bass, played by Mick, brings in soft melody and colour. Viarosa also boast a female singer, Emma Seal, whose robust voice perfectly matches the music’s powerful character. When the band finish their main set it’s obvious that they will have to add a bit more. The fans confidently demand an encore by loud clapping and shouting for more. Viarosa only take a few moments before returning to their instruments and treating us to another two songs.

All in all tonight certainly lived up to my expectations.

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Commenting On: Luminaire, London, 20/1/2006 - Viarosa

ie London, England

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