OMeara London, 19 September 2018
Gathered in a bunker near London Bridge, are a couple of hundred people to see Self Esteem, the newest project from Rebecca Taylor. The sold out gig at London’s OMeara sees old fans, nwTaylor has been part of the Slow Club duo, along with Charles Watson, for ten years now. But tonight’s crowd are very much here to see her, not the songs of the past.
Kicking off proceedings are Militant Girlfriend, who have a pop punk aesthetic, with short, riff heavy songs and pounding beats. Songs like 2K17 Was For Dickheads hint at a sense of humour through the boisterousness. They fire through a short set, before disappearing off to ‘drink our own body weight in whiskey.’ They seem to be having a damn fine time being angry and rocking out with riotous guitars and loud drums.
Taylor’s solo stuff is more reminiscent of the electronic pop vibe that the pair edged into in their latter years, rather than the early twee folk tunes. Your Wife was produced by Django Django’s Dave Maclean and is full of pulses and glitches over its catchy chorus. OMG is a punch of a beat heavy tune that shimmers with intricacies and brings in brass. Wrestling aches with tension and brooding, even as it flickers with melodies. ‘You’ve got to calm down ‘cos this one’s about all my feelings and terrible stuff’ she says before She Reigns, whilst Your Truth is about ‘shagging straight guys.’
Backed by an all female cast Taylor performs and preens around the stage, oozing sensuality and sexiness. There’s choreographed dance moves and sassy shimmering. Empowered and confident, she tests boundaries and pushes musical limits. Her bold and powerful voice is almost diva-esque, but her on stage banter in a thick Sheffield accent shows how down to earth she is. She ends on Favourite Problem, because she’s ready to go off and get drunk, the sip of a can of Fosters not quite cutting it.
Self Esteem also includes an art project, clothing range and social media brand, and sees Taylor questioning the male dominated world in which she, and every other female, operates in.
Tonight’s gig proves that two heads aren’t always needed to be better.