Somewhat confused about timings, I arrived into the Heaven, which remains in it's lofty perch as one of my favourite venues, just missing the beginning of Brooklyn 'performance collective' 's set, who I had interviewed earlier. My expectations were high, as although I wasn't completely enamoured with their material on record, I'd heard very good things about their live show. Initially these expectations were not met, front woman JD Samson seemed too static, stuck behind a keyboard and laptop while her flanking band members did not add much energy to the performance either. The set did however finally come to life in the centrepiece, and one two punch of 'Off Our Backs' and 'Cash Machine Babie$'. The two songs fed into each other, and there was more than enough dancing from JD to add a awkward but strangely compelling level of energy to the set. The colourful costumes worn by the band worked as they blasted their confident pop at us. JD is a particularly strong front-woman, her somewhat boyish appearance contrasting very well with her occasionally girlish voice. I would not say they were excellent, but certainly accomplished, and fun to watch once they got moving. Then began the long wait for Sleigh Bells to arrive on stage, the people I was with had ducked out of the venue moments before, and unwilling stand around on my own for 2 hours, and not particularly enthusiastic about seeing Teeth, I left to find them, as set in a pub for an hour which turned out to be the most boring choice. When I returned to the venue it was completely packed, testament to the live reputation of Sleigh Bells. Anticipation was certainly high as a occasionally very young audience (I saw one boy wearing his school uniform, accompanied by his mum) pushed to the front. Sound techs darted about the fog on stage to set up the very limited amount of equipment, which was limited to about 10 amps and 2 microphones. Eventually the venue darkened metal music began to play at a deafening volume, it swirled to a stop and the opening beats began to play. Now, I can't say that I'm the biggest purist when it comes to performing music, but is pre-recording half of your material and just playing along to it really kosher? As I watched the empty stage pump a familiar beat at us, I couldn't help but feel immensely disappointed, what's the point? I came here to see Sleigh Bells play not hear a recording of them playing. When Alexis strode onto the stage this ceased to matter. Derek's guitars provided us with a wall of deafening noise, and the noise he provided was fantastic, an improvement over their recorded material simply on the ferocity, and aggression with which is was played. But what really impressed me about Sleigh Bells, was surprisingly, not the sound, it was the spectacle. This is not spectacle in the Flaming Lips fashion, a million colourful balloons and dancing animals, it's one woman on stage managing to hold your whole attention perfectly. Simply put Alexis looks awesome (and I use that word to the full extent of it's meaning), wearing a pointed hood with her eyes lined with mascara, she appeared almost unreal. Leaning over to scream into the audience, her eyes aflame, the audience was definitely caught up in the energy she created, and they went mental for her. Sleigh Bells are without a doubt the best on-stage duo I've ever seen, her energy and indescribably sexy ferocity, contrasted with his controlled, measured aggression. As she danced, and jumped about the stage, reaching out to touch the hands of the people in the front row, he'd disappear into the dense fog on stage, re-emerging to blast us with a salvo of noise. The fact that half of it wasn't actually played by them didn't matter, the guitar playing was impressive enough to prop up a performance, and any more band members on stage would have ruined it. If I had to criticise, and I do, I'd say it could have been a bit louder. I was expecting a assault of noise, but didn't quite feel completely knocked off my feet, but these are just minor quibbles. Sleigh bells are a fearsome live act, and I highly recommend you go see them.