Live review: Scout Niblett @ The Ruby Lounge

Posted on 3 June 2010
By Amy Roberts
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Oh, Scout Niblett. There aren’t enough words in the World to fully gush all the love in Purple Revolver’s little heart for the Staffordshire born but American based singer/songwriter.

Stepping onto the stage in Manchester’s Ruby Lounge she proudly introduces her drummer and occasional second guitarist Dan Wilson, before scrunching her face up and asking ‘So, any questions?’, the crowd laughs but no-one dares question her.

She shrugs her shoulders and starts plying power chords out of her guitar in a manner that is so intimate it’s nearly uncomfortable.

Following an eventual and short-lived Q&A session between Niblett and audience in which the woman herself talks about living near a store in America which sells all her English essentials – ‘Mr. Kipling especially – I’ve got to have my French Fancies…’, the set gets raucous and powerful – blasting an onslaught of the twee, the nihilistic, the heartbreaking and the damning with raw, unrelenting openness.

There’s no mistaking NIblett’s love of grunge – whilst songs can touch on the sublime if basic singer-songwriter structures as well as a touch of the blues, the power chords and distressing blasts of well-practiced and occasional tone perfect screeching feedback are undeviated from the Thurston Moore school of noise.

Classic songs from her prolific back catalogue are performed with a new lease of life and personality, with Dinosaur Egg in particular being stormed out with supreme humour, but also an underlying rage with seethes out between every other word.

Your Beat Kicks Out Like A Death provides a poignant and darkly comic interlude with Niblett bashing her drum kit out of it’s dear life and repeatedly stating ‘We’re all gonna die…” with a sweet natured gusto – wide eyed and smirking.

The gig comes to an inimitable close with hauntingly powerful renditions of Hot To Death and Kiss, with the former perfecting the dynamics of the rest of the gig into a stoic and later pounding paean to astrological destiny and consuming love.

Kiss, on the other hand, is a wild and unrestrained ballad of overwhelming romance which hears Niblett’s vocals soaring dramatically into a lustful and almost agonized charge, driving more than a couple of the audience to be overcome with a small flurry of tear jerked sniffles.

Pass the man-sized snot rags now please, we may never recover.

Scout Niblett Myspace: