Scout Niblett takes to the stage without a fuss, arranging her guitar pedals and setting out handwritten pages on the floor. Dressed in red, she and her drummer don't begin to fill Bush Hall's tiny stage but as new single "Dinosaur Egg" kicks off the relaxed, intimate set it's immediately apparent that what they lack in physical size they make up for in decibels.
And how the crowd adore her, clustering in a semi circle around the stage, faces tilted, calmly drinking it all in with wide eyes. Sweetly picked guitar riffs turn on a penny to fiercely raging, fuzzed up grunge chords that stick in your gut and compel the front rows to headbang with abandon, Scout's pent-up banshee wail cutting through it all to pierce your heart and take your breath away.
Swapping to piano for one song full of crunchingly discordant sequences, Scout then hops back on stage to sit at the drum kit, guitar in her lap, to perform "Kidnapped By Neptune" track "Pom Poms", endearingly forgetting the first line of the melody and turning to the audience for help before launching in to a perfect rendition.
"Watching someone play music is like watching them have sex, a bit...I wish I hadn't said that now, I'll sing this one facing away..."
Image by Laura Kidd.