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PEM @ The Lexington (Live Review) Featured

  • Written by  Captain Stavros

PEM

@ The Lexington, London

Words & Pics by Captain Stavros 

A few months ago, Brace Yourself Press, who’re a seemingly never-ending fountain of consistently solid recommendations, shot us one out for PEM and her then recently released single. The vocals hooked us straight out of the gate and shot us back to 2017, when we got caught up in Zoee’s sugar sweet pipes layered atop of equally enamel corroding synth pop. The underwater trill in PEM’s voice is our siren call and could be yours too. If you close your eyes and listen closely when she speaks, you can hear it floating in the back of their throat almost imperceptibly. Their music invites the listener into a conspiratorial embrace and holds them there firmly; not that there was much resistance in the first place. The single came on us like a downpour so naturally we did our best to blag our way into their set to hear it, and much more, for ourselves.

Although singing nearly solo throughout their performance, PEM is quick to note that the rising tides (or talents in this case) raise all boats. From support acts to her band, family, friends, audience, and even designer friend that made their loosely woven and airy Furiosa attire, (pre-Fury Road, more The Green Place). The eleven-track set kicked off with a level climb from ‘Gulls’ and kept a steady ascent all the way through to ‘Sentimental’ (where the violin really came into its own). Set standouts, included but were not limited to, the aforementioned ‘Awe’,‘Gut Health’ and ‘Lullaby London’.The audience hung forlornly off every syllable and note as precariously, and in as much of a fragile state, as PEM’s fingernail which had recently been smashed up in a car door.

Getting away from a ketamine nightmare for a moment, yes, the vocals very much did live up to the hype. We imagine hearing her for the first time would’ve been the same as hearing the golden tones of Karen Carpenter’s voice as she sang‘Superstar’; utterly captivating. The whole set, in fact, was a landscape of rich tapestry, woven right before our very senses.  It is both alluring and terrifying that such a young soul’s well-formed storytelling feels like it has a lifetime’s worth of experience behind it. Speaking to PEM candidly, and off the record, in a sea of people at The Lexington, which surely must’ve been over capacity, everything and everyone else melts away and, like her performance, is a singular experience we recommend if you’re lucky enough to have it. As luck would have it, you can. PEM is currently touring and has just released her EP, which is as satisfying an experience as the performance live was.

Our biggest, and only, regret of the evening is not having the wherewithal when given the chance during our chat to ask if she’d ever consider covering Roy Orbison’s ‘Blue Bayou’. If you, the reader, would also like to avoid the pitfalls of regret,don’t forget to catch one of PEM’s upcoming gigs but bonus, the opening bands were super-solid-rocksteady too and you shouldn’t miss any of their upcoming gigs. Up and comer Scarlett Wolf and her witchy sisterhood slapped. Canty,who followed suit and came at us out of nowhere like a rogue wave, did not disappoint; quickly capsizing any reservation one might have seeing only two figures shrouded in darkness, one sitting on stage. They both are a vivid reminder of the reasons to never miss the opening acts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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