5 Things About: Indiana at Rock City, Nottingham (29/05/15)

One of Nottingham’s most promising popstars is finally getting the attention she deserves as she celebrates her debut album with a tour culminating in a headline slot in her hometown’s most acclaimed music venues, Rock City.

The Intro
Indiana’s pulsating electro has never sounded more invigorating as when ‘Never Born’  lit up Rock City with its intermittent strobe lighting. As much a part of the atmosphere as anything else, the audience roared as Long Eaton’s finest made her way onstage to tear through the vicious album opener which set the tone of the evening – stellar album tracks from ‘No Romeo’ packing an even more powerful punch on the live circuit.

The Setlist
Presenting her longest setlist to date, Indiana gave nods to all-but-one track from the standard edition of ‘No Romeo’. Before you sob at the omission of ‘Jack’, though, she had to make room for the breathtaking ‘Erase’ and ‘Animal’ from the deluxe edition – all in all, it felt like the most accomplished set Indiana has put forward. Her command of the stage has grown tenfold since her days headlining The Bodega on the other side of the city and as she flits between waves to the crowd and introverted reveries, her vocals remain consistently impressive throughout.

The Highlights
Title track ‘No Romeo’ received a makeover as it’s intro was reshaped into a haunting interlude delivered almost-acapella. As it shifted into it’s second verse, the beats sounded all the more exciting and powerful. Yet another presentation of a song that can’t be properly contained in a recorded state, ‘Mess Around’ soars as the choral middle eight gives way to Indi’s sublime, passionate vocal work. It’d also be a crime not to single out ‘Blind As I Am’ which renders any audience spellbound when it gets its obligatory airing.

Indiana Herself
That emotion that dominates during ‘Blind As I Am’ is captivating, but is also evident in various forms through the entirety of the set. She easily pulls off a woman scorned in ‘Never Born’ and ‘Mess Around’, confident seductress in ‘Calibrated Love’ and ‘Bound’ and, perhaps closest to reality, excitable Notts lass on ‘Solo Dancing’ and ‘Heart On Fire’. All of the elements combine to show a performer that is competent at retaining attention and excitement through a full set.

The Encore
Inarguably her biggest track to date, the kooky electro dance of ‘Solo Dancing’ took centerstage following the touching ‘Blind As I Am’ and got the warmest reception of the set. Just to reiterate what I’ve mentioned numerous times before, ‘Solo Dancing’ is the most conclusive piece of evidence that Indiana has to be experienced live to fully appreciate the majesty of enormity of her music. When she ad-libs through the final minutes, following a tense and beautiful drop, you start to truly comprehend why Indiana has grown too big to be harnessed in the intimacy of Nottingham’s smaller venues.

Words: Simon McMurdo


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