Gigs | BANKS at Brixton Academy

Banks - Goddess (Album Cover)Enter Jillian Rose Banks, aka BANKS, 26 year old singer-songwriter, born and bred under the Californian sun and over 15 minutes late to her sold out show.

I’m surrounded by black-attired youths, eyes bulging with intoxication and a willingness to bop back and forth to the infectious beat of a drum machine for a good few hours.

Songs Drowning, Waiting Game and Beggin’ For Thread were real crowd pleasers. However, the stripped-down version of Warm Water wasn’t particularly memorable and an inevitable Drake cover was disappointingly drip-fed to the audience.

As you can probably tell, the live show didn’t live up to expectations. Goddess was a debut album full of promise, with brief snippets of BANKS’ life told through smooth and breathy RnB girl-next-door vibes.

The most frustrating aspect of this show was that we really wished for her to pull it out of the bag, but all to no avail.

We needed more. We needed the frontwoman BANKS had promised us she’d be. And we didn’t get one.

Strangely, in a generation which thrives on it, BANKS isn’t on social media sites, as all her associated pages are run by her management.

Refreshingly, she seems like the kind of girl who isn’t sucked into the blatant self-promotion that comes with the celebrity status on networks such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Unfortunately for BANKS, it turns out the production of the album is much more impressive than the frontwoman. A stage presence and ability to connect with an audience is paramount.

Had this been the first time I’d listened to BANKS, stood on the sticky floors of Brixton Academy with a stupidly overpriced Tuborg in hand, and if I hadn’t previously heard the ambitious girl inside Goddess, I’d have thought her nothing more than a guest-appearance vocalist.

 

Image by Harvest Records