Photo by YC Yak

Photo by YC Yak

Nothing quite compares to an intimate club show where one is able to get up close to the artist. In the past, such gigs were fairly scarce in Singapore as promoters tended to favor artists who could draw upwards of a thousand fans. But thankfully of late, these kinds of gigs are becoming more and more common in the live music scene here with recent examples being And So I Watch You From Afar at Zouk, Dirty Beaches at Pink Noize, Deafheaven at Beep Studios and Music Matters Live at various Clarke Quay outlets.

Spanish artist Russian Red (born Lourdes Hernandez) has played on our shores twice before in close quartered environments and it was pretty much the same on her third visit, this time at TAB. Thus, it was easy to make out Hernandez’s fine outfit of the night – a black frilly dress, shiny golden heels and bangs tied up in a bun – which when combined with a stylish Gretsch electric guitar (whom Hernandez referred to as ‘Gretchen’), provided a somewhat incongruous image of the dainty female rocker.

Proof of the demand for these small rock events came in the form of a reasonably sized crowd at TAB numbering perhaps around 300 fans. Balanced equally between locals and expats, these twenty-somethings came prepared with their mobile phones to record every moment of this intimate gig experience. Although it seemed strange that the tables and chairs were not cleared for standing room only, the audience made the space work with around 20 people milling around the front of the stage whilst the rest sat comfortably from a (relative) distance.

Focusing mainly on her latest album – Agent Cooper – Hernandez did her best to rock out with her band and largely succeeded. It might have taken the audience a little longer to warm up to the newer material but once more familiar tunes like “I Hate You But I Love You” and “Loving Strangers” turned up, then the crowd reciprocated with whoops and cheers. You might say it was a game of two halves (yes a football analogy) for the audience but by the very end, the crowd left the venue more than satisfied.

Thanks to Forefront Asia for making this review possible.