Weyes Blood is clearly no slouch. Last night's gig in a packed out Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith was, she told the crowd, her 110th of the year, and second in London. What a trooper – but does such a schedule take its toll?
It's hard to describe the American singer's exact genre of music without sounding pretentious. Her songs certainly feature heavily on 'Sad Indie' playlists and the best I can come up with is: ethereal, psychedelic, low-fi folk-indie.
Her music can be a bit unknowable at times too, requiring a concentration that might have been lost to the Apollo crowd on a miserable Monday evening in mid-November.
She kicked off the gig solidly enough with It's Not Just Me, It's Everybody (the opening song from her most recent album) with a gentle, polite swaying in the crowd as the song meandered serenely but beautifully by.
Children of the Empire kicked thing up a bit but as Blood (the stage name for Natalie Mering) later confessed, she doesn't have many upbeat songs. Wearing a white gown, she sashayed around the stage with her guitar, bearing her soul to the crowd in front of her.
It was actually when things slowed down, with her epic ode God Turn Me Into a Flower, that the energy of the audience transformed, especially with documentarian Adam Curtis providing the video accompaniment. Across six minutes, Mering's soaring voice stripped away all thoughts of the grim weather, and took her performance to another level.
Her most famous song, Andromeda – the standout track from her 2019 album Titanic Rising, which shot her from relative obscurity into alternative indie darling – had the crowd applauding and Mering thanked them for their response to "another grief-stricken tune".
The crowd warmed up further with two back-to-back cuts from Titanic Rising; Something To Believe and Everyday ("You can mosh to this one", Mering quipped in her introduction to the one certifiable dancing song in repertoire).
She did reveal she was feeling under the weather (and on a load of medication to shake off the seasonal lurgie). That and the heavy schedule may have contributed to this gig feeling a bit like it ran on autopilot. Which is a shame as with her obvious talent and songs as tender and gentle as this they were lacking depth and fragility on the night.
That said, she brought it round with the thundering crescendo of Movies and a solo performance of Picture Me Better, one of Mering's most personal songs brought the encore to a close.
It was a fitting end to an intermittently beautiful gig – but the next time she plays London hopefully Mering has enjoyed a bit of a break and is not fighting a cold.