The Hope was packed and pulsating as the music enveloped the audience. Sporting a head dress and an outfit that co-ordinated with her accompanying band, Glasser’s performance was a performance in every sense of the word, a visual spectacle and a sonic experience so much so that it almost out did the capabilities of the modest upstairs venue.
Rather than the backing of The Hope logo on a curtain, it felt like there should be surreal visuals, a lightshow, smoke and dry ice. For Glasser, not that they need it, deserves a full scale stage production, to compliment the epic quality of the sound.
A sound that is wild and primal, and raw without being uncomfortably jarring. There is a fluidity to it, a well blended layering of percussive loops, instrumental improvisation and meandering vocal melodies, creates a dream like ambience. Synthesised with her movements which like her music are at times jerky and awkward and at others – adds a hypnotic sense. I was certainly hypnotised. Maybe I still am, I haven’t stopped listening to the debut album ‘Ring’.
Parallels to Bjork are obvious and the opening track ‘Apply’ features yelps and squeals reminiscent of Kate Bush but she definitely holds her own amongst the best of the artists she references. Her voice says it all, humble and witty in her spoken audience participation, mesmerising in song. Ending with an acapella version of English folk song ‘Let No Man Steal You Thyme’ talent speaks for itself.
Glasser’s music is ethereal and otherworldly, or at the very least worldly. If she didn’t transport you out of it, she certainly took you around it: From Australasia and the didgeridoo to the Caribbean and the steel drum, from the chime bell of the orient to the rhythm of the Middle East, world music references abounded. Glasser’s is an intelligent music. Intelligent, that is, without being difficult.
I’m not sure, however, that I can say the same about getting tickets for her shows in the future, I have a inkling that that could very well soon be rather difficult indeed.