LIVE REVIEW: Shura

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE: KOKO

WHEN: 1/6

SETLIST: Nothing’s Real; What’s It Gonna Be; Touch; Kids’n’Stuff; Indecision; What Happened To Us?; Just Once; Make It Up; 2 Shy; White Light.

Shura must have been disappointed when she realised her biggest London gig to date earmarked for the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire had to be rearranged from 29/5.

  • Read on for why Shura’s debut album Nothing’s Real will soundtrack the summer

Here we are three days later at KOKO and the privilege is all ours for this hour-long, 10-song festival set. We are, in fact, stood behind the staircase that separates bar from moshpit at this sold-out venue. We get to see a lot of passing footwear throughout the evening and can confirm most of it is sportswear. And worn by young women.

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As if to confirm the LGBT-friendly nature of this evening’s proceedings a young female couple snogs unselfconsciously at the foot of our stairs between the set by excellent energetic and female-fronted support Puma Rosa and the main draw.

On record what we’ve heard so far of Shura’s debut album Nothing’s Real (out 8/7) is very much the sound of unrequited love – precise, polite, sensitive, heartfelt, apologetic and a little timid. But it’s in the live arena where it starts to make a lot more sense.

There’s what sounds to these ears like When Doves Cry-like squawking at the close of 2 Shy and final song (no encore) White Light cuts loose. Shura is very much the indie Madonna, either behind keyboards or wielding a guitar, raiding the 80s, magpie-like, for its finest hooks. My companion whispers: ‘Madonna’s Holiday dub version’ to me during Indecision and it rings true.

Easy comparisons would be Robyn or La Roux but there’s much more musicianship on show. The first three songs in particular are among the best you’ll hear all year. Nothing’s Real‘s already shaping up to be the must-hear album of the summer and one suspects that the owners of those passing trainers will be supporting Shura at far bigger London venues for years to come.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Shura. Tickets for the Shura tour available here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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