Just last week, Oliver (the 405's editor) stated his issues with attending gigs these days in a guest column for London In Stereo and he was spot on, but I'll come back to that point shortly. First and foremost we arrive at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Southbank blissfully ignorant to the existence of the Purcell Room where Woman's Hour are about to play to a sold-out crowd.

It was quite surreal arriving at the quiet and library-like arts centre, collecting tickets and heading to the intimate room to the rear of the foyer where we are held waiting for some applause before we're let in to watch support act Cousin Marnie - who impressed in the few songs we caught of her set. Once inside the large room with buttoned leather seats and assigned seat numbers, the silence of the lobby was broken by Marnie's large and stirring sound.

After a short interval, which included a rather helpful voice on the PA offering a countdown to the restart of the show, we retake our seats - and with the room now full of seated punters, Woman's Hour take the stage and almost immediately you realise that the band (or their promoter at the very least) have stumbled upon a magic formula.


Not only is the venue, a dark, intimate yet somewhat eccentric place (which is perfect for the band), the audience is forced to sit and pay attention to what was happening ahead. The delicate tones of Fiona, the group's lead vocalist, transfix the entire crowd - not that we should be surprised as it's clear from the turn out for the show that this band is set to make big waves this year. The group's subtle electronic sound, coupled with the comfy upholstery, leads me to dwell on Oliver's column. Contrary to his observations on modern day gig crowds, nobody was talking over the band, and there was definitely no one wielding smart phones or tablets trying to take pictures. The setting seemed to instil a refreshing level of decorum, which is severely lacking these days.

Everyone treated the band with the respect they deserved. Obviously not every gig should/clould be seated in a performance space usually reserved for contemporary performances of Shakespeare or such like, but it seemed to match the band and their performance on the night and I would certainly jump at the chance to see someone else here should the chance arise.

They're often compared to The xx, but based on this show I think it's time we cut short those assumptions. They are more personable and warmer than their supposed sound-sakes and have a great career ahead of them.