Ida Maria @ Komedia, 18th November

After much success in her native county, Ida Maria has gained notoriety in Britain after performing on Later… with Jools Holland, where she delivered a fantastic performance which her audience lapped up. This was repeated here in Brighton last night.

Photo: Oscar Broughton
Photo: Oscar Broughton

As she stormed on stage, the Norwegian-born beauty certainly proved that she can dish out a tasty number, restoring my belief that punk still shines through the decades – though only in a select few. Her raspy vocals infuse beautifully with the driving bass that characterises her performance. This was definitely the kind of woman that can lead a band, both vocally and through her sheer presence. She wasn’t imposing, but in fact wonderfully unnerving, as she sang, strutted and called for more general nudity from the audience.

As well as punk there are traces of rock and pop in her music and this mixture of genres formed one of the best live shows I’ve seen in a while. She ably combined the aggression of Siouxsie Sioux and Iggy Pop, but added her own dash of Winehouse recklessness and something slightly pixieish in the style of Björk.

Her great ability to make fun of a situation is reflected in lyrics such as “I like you so much better when you’re naked; I like me so much better when you’re naked”. Not to wallow in self-pity as some prominent female singers do, Ida Maria takes the piss where it needs to be taken. This gives her an appeal which is light hearted despite her fanatical screams.

Although cut short due to the drunken exuberance of the leading lady, it was an amazing show. Superb support from Birdpen and VV Brown rallied the audience with expectation and excitement, and Ida definitely didn’t disappoint. Her grasp of raw energy lets her music spiral into powerful dimensions and I can’t help but feel encouraged by her vitality for music.

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