I Blame Coco – 26/10/10 Manchester Academy 3
Coco Sumner, better known as I Blame Coco, is a newly emerging singer, songwriter and musician but perhaps more famously daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler.
Her album, The Constant is due out in November featuring singles Caesar and Self Machine -both released earlier this year.
The venue itself was busy but by no means packed, a peculiar mixture of people gathered to witness what was to be an interesting spectacle.
Having not seen I Blame Coco before, I had little expectations except for the fact that she has released some great singles and album previews are promising.
Kyla La Grange was first on; an unsigned, quirky folk singer songwriter playing hauntingly beautiful ballads and soft melodic songs. Clearly influenced by the likes of Elliot Smith, Tracy Chapman and a grungy hint of PJ Harvey too. She opened the concert with an elegance and style that got the crowd engaged despite not playing Vampire Smile, an audience favourite.
Kyla La Grange excited the stage after promising much from I Blame Coco and most went to refresh their drinks expecting the headline act to start soon.
Over forty five minutes later and thirty minutes late of the lineup times I Blame Coco arrived, opening with Party Bag from her forthcoming album. She wore no makeup, her hair was greasy and her clothes resembled something you would expect a seventy year old man to wear – white shirt, dickie bow and grey trousers- not something I expected of an attractive twenty year old.
She followed up Party Bag with hit single Self Machine, a more popular song that the audience really got into. Musically, Sumner sounded fantastic; she is a very strong singer both live and in session and her band complimented her style well but her performance lacked enthusiasm, it was awkward and almost retarded. As she got into the set she began to relax more and certainly when she put on her guitar for It’s About to Get Worse, a slow, emotional track, her movements began to look a little more natural.
After announcing “This is where it gets interesting” she played forthcoming single, Quicker and her set was really hitting a climax. Both the audience and her band were dancing and the atmosphere was soaring but her stage presence was still graceless which caused me to question whether it was part of her persona, a quirk perhaps and why someone who had such an air of cool about them would dance in such an odd way.
She ended with Caesar, concluding a short, nine track, forty five minute set which left the audience shocked and gagging for more. As we left the venue you could hear other headline acts (Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip were in that night) playing what was a more sound headline set length.
I cannot wait for I Blame Coco’s album The Constant and I wouldn’t hesitate to see her again but perhaps knowing more of the songs would have made the whole gig a more engaging experience (which begs to ask the question why the tour wasn’t saved for after the album release). I would definitely recommend to anyone who has enjoyed the singles to go and see I Blame Coco and certainly get a taste for Kyla La Grange too!
Kyla La Grange myspace page with a couple of her songs on: http://www.myspace.com/kylalagrange
I Blame Coco’s album The Constant due to be released November 8th