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Cindy Wilson at Ruby Lounge Manchester review

Grace Creaner witnessed the B52s singer exhibiting tracks off her debut album "Change".

Henry Lewis

Date published: 26th Feb 2018

Image: Forsyth (credit)

After breaking away from her life with the B-52s, we were lucky enough to see one of Cindy Wilson’s first solo performances in Europe, following the release of her long-awaited debut album Change

If you’re a fan of the B-52s, it’s safe to say that Wilson’s solo material might be very different from what you may expect. Laced with 60s inspired psychedelia and a disco essence, Wilson’s synth-pop inspired debut is as far from ‘Love Shack’ as you could possibly get. 

Accompanied by her multi-instrumentalist three-piece band, Wilson lit up Manchester’s Ruby Lounge in a kaleidoscope of trancey drum & bass, ambient guitar and velvety synthesisers. The psych direction was clear throughout, epitomized by the use of delay on Wilson’s glittery vocals.

The ceaseless set was a celebration of Wilson from start to finish, and quite rightly. Dancing around a theremin, Wilson’s energy never dwindled as she vibed with her band even within the short time between tracks.

Smiling throughout and sipping her bud-light, Wilson had the crowd in a sway-inducing trance, lighting up the room with her ageless sense of self which seemed content that her solo debut is exactly how she intended it to be. 

The progressively psych aesthetic of each track was not only achieved through the music but also by the videography, which was reminiscent of both the album artwork for Change and her music video for Brother. The triggering of various effects on not only the vocals but also the instrumentation, allowed Wilson to orchestrate a succinct performance with a clear direction, freely mimicking the sound of the album.

The response of the crowd made it clear that Wilson’s solo debut was a highly anticipated one, and it’s safe to say she really did not disappoint.

Marrying 60s and 80s influences, she offered the crowd an escape into a considered, yet nostalgic exploration of her psyche. It was refreshing to witness an experienced artist who has had time to define herself and her craft, and it made for an established performance which was not only charming, but also incredibly honest.