ActionAid's 6 Degrees initiative tonight brought together female artists and DJs to raise awareness and funds for projects in Uganda.
Alessi's Ark - diminutive, pixie-voiced West Londoner Alessi Laurent-Marke - opens the proceedings with a full band set. It's twee and folky territory, with songs about animals and lyrics like "I was always told that kite-flying's for lovers", but her album was recorded with Bright Eyes and there's a country-rock edge here too.
thecocknbullkid changes mood with her brooding, crunchy electro-pop. Opening with the retro-futurist dirge of 'Sinners', she fixes the audience with her steely glare and takes us on a whirl through her psyche. The creepy, music-box confection 'On My Own' is her trump card and while things haven't quite happened for the 'kid yet, with homegrown talent like Little Boots on the up, her time must surely come soon.
Next up, Micachu and the Shapes. Where to begin? 30 minutes and just as many styles, tempo changes and skews in direction. The precocious singer and producer, currently studying composition at Guildhall, has brought her classical training to bear, cantering through a unique mix of angular indie, hip-hop and pop which hits from all angles in strange fits and starts. Impressively odd.
Finally, after a late start and much anticipation for the headliner, a percussionist comes onstage and begins to beat out a rhythm on tambourine. Next, Martina Topley-Bird takes to the stage in a prom-style pink dress and seats herself behind the keyboard. Any expectation of other musicians is soon quashed - save for guitarist Andy Cox on one song - and it's testament to her impressive talent that she takes on keys, xylophone, guitar and percussion with ease. Rootsy songs from latest album The Blue God come thick and fast and she's funny and charming between songs. While she may not be as well-known as her old Bristol scene cohorts, this is a showcase of her truly modern soul music.