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Sky Ferreira live in London: pop prowess well worth waiting for

Sky Ferreira live in London: pop prowess well worth waiting for

Hundreds gather in the steamy foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. We were told a seemingly optimistic but already night-owl-friendly stage time of 10:30pm for Sky Ferreira’s anticipated performance at the Grace Jones-curated Meltdown Festival. During the wait, some have left to get trains home while the majority wait to soak up the sweaty anticipation. It’s close to midnight by the time her nonchalant silhouette becomes visible through the haze. “The seconds run away,” she cooly delivers on opener ‘24 Hours’, “minutes pass at speeds we can’t run at”. You’re telling us!

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Patience is a virtue that all true Sky Ferriera fans possess. It’s been nearly a decade since the release of her immaculate art-pop debut ‘Night Time, My Time‘, with the follow-up ‘Masochism’ finally said to be round the corner. Speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read cover story, she put the blame at the foot of record company shit-housery. Drama aside, it’s a real treat to have her back. From the scuzzy synth-pop romp of ‘Boys’ to new wave perfection of ‘You’re Not The One’ and the electro-R&B jam of ‘I Blame Myself’, Sky’s set effortlessly and immediately reminds her howling adorers of what a treasure trove ‘Night Time…’ really was, and what it feels like to be in the presence of a true pop star.

We get a taste of ‘Masochism’, too. New single ‘Don’t Forget’ hits with a fist-clenching ‘80s power-pop punch, ‘Innocent Kind’ is a gnarly grunge beast and the cinematic Morricone swoon of ‘Downhill Lullaby’ – first released in 2019 – lands like an old favourite. The forecast for ‘Masochism’ looks positive, which she says is reaching completion.

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Sky Ferreira live at Meltdown Festival. Credit: Phoebe Fox for NME

Finishing with a well-suited cover of the bittersweet pop jam of ‘Hands All Over Me’ by Tamaryn, shoegaze loveliness through a rendition of ‘Voices Carry’ by Boston band ‘Til Tuesday, and a rapturous reception for the aching millennial sad-pop anthem ‘Everything’s Embarrassing’, the early hours roll on and Sky Ferreira’s victory is complete.

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Exuding a pure punk cool while rolling through bangers, Sky Ferreira is not just idiosyncratic but iconic. She may follow in Grace Jones’ footsteps and curate Meltdown herself one day. For now though, we’ll just take another record and more nights like this. With Sky Ferreira, we’ve learned that it’s always worth the wait.

The crowd for Sky Ferreira live at Meltdown Festival. Credit: Phoebe Fox for NME
The crowd for Sky Ferreira live at Meltdown Festival. Credit: Phoebe Fox for NME

Sky Ferreira .ed:

’24 Hours’
‘Boys’
‘Don’t Forget’
‘You’re Not the One’
‘Downhill Lullaby’
‘I Blame Myself’
‘Ain’t Your Right’
‘I Will’
‘Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)’
‘Heavy Metal Heart’
‘Voices Carry’ (’Til Tuesday cover)
‘Innocent Kind’
‘Hands All Over Me'(Tamaryn cover)
‘Descending’
‘Everything Is Embarrassing’

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