[Live Review] BANKS (Sydney)

Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Sunday July 23, 2017 :

The Enmore stage was dark with only a few red lights illuminating from the back of the stage. A woman walks up to the microphone in all black draped in a tulle veil followed by two contemporary dancers as the opening track to the set ‘Poltergeist’ begins, I expected nothing less from the dark queen that is Banks.

Banks perform 4 tracks in a row off her second and most recent album The Altar, including fan favourites ‘Fuck With Myself’ and ‘Gemini Feed’. The dancers are dressed in a stretch mesh and dance in a way that contorts their body and creates shapes that would only be awkward, the lighting is set to do the same for much of the first few songs, it casts all red lights over the stage and heavy fog. It is all to create that emotional and dark setting that Banks is known for; it is slightly unsettling and uncomfortable. But it’s supposed to be, it recreates the emotive states of the songs and experiences that created them. I look around and I can see so many people hand on hearts screaming every word from the very first song to the last, they are similar with these feelings too.

Banks’ vocals are impeccable, she doesn’t talk much between songs but when she does she often seems shy. She asks everyone to put their phones away to share the song together and the experience together, it’s a sweet sentiment that doesn’t last long. Because she is engaging, she moves along with her dancers in their coordinated moves, but she also moves on her own in her own alluring style.

She performs a poem in sign language as recording of her voice is played over the speakers before launching into another crowd pleaser ‘Drowning’. The encore comes and goes with the obvious choice and arguably her most successful track ‘Begging For Thread’. However there are some obvious holes in the setlist such as ‘Goddess’ the title track off debut album.

Never the less Banks provides an original and honest performance, the dancers and lighting are a welcome addition to her stage and her vocal abilities are flawless throughout the night, Banks, thank you for bringing your dark RnB back to our shores.

Reviewer and Photographer : Amy Heycock

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