A single pin could be dropped in the centre of the cavernous surrounds of the Scala and its’ metal body would be heard ricocheting against the granite floor as the anticipation for tonight’s Soap&Skin show has brought the venue to a rare hushed silence.

A spotlight shines on the figure of Anja Plaschg (Soap&Skin), her ashen face shining out in the darkness, standing alone at the front of an empty stage. This false calm is instantly shattered as the opening of ‘Deathmental’ (and with it Plaschg) violently erupt as she battles the track’s thunderous foreboding chords, hands stretched, clawing outwards with overdubbed howls. Taking a pew at the keyboard behind her the tranquillity is returned as quickly as it was broken with the achingly fragile, ‘Cradlesong’.

Similarly to her most recent London shows Plaschg is joined for most of the evening by a full string orchestra for tracks largely taken her recent mini-album Narrow as well as her debut Lovetune For Vacuum. Buried beneath a mess of red hair, she remains for most of the set at her keyboard and Mac only uttering “thank you” mid-way through the set, but is nonetheless utterly magnetising. The stage wrapped in darkness, apart from a spotlight on Plaschg and occasionally bathed in red and green hues, increases the shows theatrics.

Plaschg’s carefully slices loud and quiet and dark against light to make her the architect of everyone’s emotions. The mechanical menace of ‘Big Hand Nails Down’, intensified by a live string section, is offset by the painful prose of the sparse piano-lead ‘Cynthia’, whilst the pounding primal bass of ‘Thanatos’ is hushed by the tender introduction of ‘Fall Foliage’ before being swept up in the song’s closing sonic tidal wave. During ‘Voyage Voyage’ the venue becomes so quiet the gentle whir of the air-con can even be heard and if anyone speaks they’re promptly hushed by others in the audience some of whom, gripped by the gathering intensity, are crying.

‘Marche Von Funebre’, the second song of a set-defining encore heightens the theatrical element of the show as Plaschg mirrors the song’s message marching around the stage, raising her arms to the orchestra, screaming in anguish. The metallic industrial whir of ‘DDMMYY’ closes the encore in a sensory shattering exorcism.

Returning to the front of the stage the applause is deafening until Plaschg raises one finger to her lips and silence returns for a moving cover of The Velvet Underground’s, ‘Pale Blue Eyes’. A truly unforgettable evening.