Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth bring a show like no other to the Sage Gateshead.
Of course, the pair in question were known in their previous guise as trip-hop duo Frou Frou, but more recently these incredibly talented artists have been working on their solo careers.
This evening’s packed out show in Hall Two at Sage Gateshead spans over two halves and represents both their individual and collective bodies of work.
By her admittance, Heap declares that she has played a few strange shows in this room. And the very idea for this show and the current groundbreaking tour was piloted in this spot a few years prior.
At the top of the show, Imogen perches herself sat on the edge of the stage, mere inches from those sitting in the front row as she delivers a beautiful performance of Guitar Song and an intoxicating rendition of Breathe In.
Looking at the stage, there is a whole range of musical devices and contraptions positioned either side. Each utilised to bring this distinctive brand of electronica to life on stage.
By pushing the boundaries of technology, Heap can free herself of the shackles of her instruments. The artist has utilised a pair of stage gloves, which have been programmed to interact with her various sonic devices through motion and gestures. This, in turn, allows Imogen to move or dance around the stage without the need to be close to her console. The aforementioned technique, allows the idea of air guitar to be taken to a whole new level particularly during the hard-rocking number Close Up.
There is plenty of room in the set for tracks from the Frou Frou repertoire including the likes of Flicks, It’s Good To Be In Love and Let Go. Of course, the latter of which featured in Zach Braff’s Hollywood Movie Garden State.
Whilst Shurayo highlights Heap and Sigsworth’s versatility. Guy had recorded the track for his debut solo album along with a vocalist from Okinawa. That artist couldn’t be present tonight. Imogen takes on lead vocals despite the song not being in her native tongue and does a fine job in the process.
One of the many highlights of the show comes by way of Neglected Space. Heap enters the room illuminated by a light-up bolero around her neck. Meandering through the audience she gives the crowd an up-close and enlightening experience. The song’s poetic lyrics and futuristic rhythmic soundscape enthral the audience. And the live drumming and thunderous rhythm sounds incredible as a backdrop to Imogen’s soaring vocal.
Not only is this show both musically and visibly creative, but Heap informs the audience of how they have been looking at experimenting with blockchain technology to create a digital identity for music. For further details look up the Mycelia Creative Passport.
As the show heads towards its close, the audience is treated to a brooding rendition of the Sennheiser commissioned piece Tiny Human, before Imogen’s breathtaking airing of Hide and Seak brings the main part of the show to its conclusion.
But we aren’t done just yet. An encore that features Frou Frou classic Dumbing Down On Love and a track that was recently covered by Ariana Grande by way of Goodnight and Go brings this musical marathon to a close.
Never in all of the years that I have been coming to Sage Gateshead has this writer seen a show quite like this. Both Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth are pushing the boundaries of music, art, technology and creativity for the benefit of both their fans and their peers alike.