CocoRosie @ The Button Factory

By: Sharon Burke

CocoRosie @ The Button Factory
Photo: courtesy of the artist

Posted: May 25, 2010 – Dublin, United Kingdom

Having previously been witness to CocoRosie's entrancing performances, I expected the Casady sisters to pull something really incredible out of their bag of musical tricks for this show. Bianca and Sierra are one of the few sibling acts that manages to preserve the inimitability of their live performances while also appealing to the larger indie arena. There is something so unpredictable and fragile about the sisters' gigs; the musical bond has clearly ignited a passion which was reflected in the faces of Tuesday's audience in the Button Factory.

That their side-projects range from art to novel-writing comes as no surprise to a CocoRosie fan; their joie de vivre seems to extend itself from a musical spectrum into a wider artistic horizon. This is expressively reflected in their live performances.

Backed with an enthusiastic rapper and beat-boxing thespian, the sisters were surrounded by musicians as distinctive and electric as themselves. The looping films which flickered on the pale backdrop screen evoked the intense, rather druidic essence of CocoRosie. A haunting melodic intro set something astir in their listeners—perhaps more partakers in a music-centric séance or pagan ritual than gig-goers. Sierra's operatic voice fused with the vogue charm of beat-boxing gave the act a fresh, contemporary air and cleanly united past and present practices within the songs. The pair played a combination of songs from their earlier albums La maison de mon réve and Noah's Ark and unsurprisingly, from Grey Oceans, which was released the day before their show. "Trinity's Crying" was particularly well-received by wide-eyed listeners.

The appeal which draws an audience back to repeatedly seeing the same band is undoubtedly something unique, something memorable which takes places during the show. CocoRosie's performance in the Button Factory was memorable for the breathtaking beauty of their music and voices, and yet would have been lacking without Bianca's impromptu breakdancing, which transformed the gig into a shindig. The incident occurring at the end of the show when the sisters brought a birthday cake onstage for the cheery rapper and sang "Happy Birthday" with the audience was the grand finale the audience had expected—there is absolutely nothing bland or lacklustre about a CocoRosie conclusion.

Although for most acts this special, the expression "one of a kind" springs to mind, this American-Parisian duo are without a doubt two of a kind, united by blood, music and a love of performing.

Video: "Hairnet Paradise" by CocoRosie

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