Banks – Koko, London


Banks is a name that only came on to my radar at the very beginning of 2014 when she featured on a Spotify playlist of ‘upcoming talent’. Her song Waiting Game was unlike anything I’d heard before, and that is genuinely a very rare thing for me to say. It was dark and grimy, but also sad and even sexy thanks to Banks’ sultry vocals. I was hooked and listened to it on repeat for the majority of the day.

Thanks to the wonderful Songkick app, I found out she was playing at one of my favourite London venues, Koko – however, it had already sold out by the time I could get a ticket. When she released a second date due to demand I knew I had to go; if a new artist is selling out gigs then I want to make sure I’m seeing them when tickets are actually affordable!

Banks was joined on stage by just two musicians, but she had a dominating presence, despite being so tiny. Her big voice hit all the notes promised on her recordings and her sultry wanderings around the stage kept everyone transfixed, which so important when her music is so ethereal and down tempo. My friend who came with me hadn’t heard of Banks and I found it so hard to describe her beforehand. During the gig we compared her to everything from 90s dance, industrial metal, grime, RnB and early 2000s indie – I’d love to know how she is accurately described by the music press and what radio stations play her because I find her incredibly hard to pinpoint. That’s probably the main reason I like her so much.

Considering Banks has a limited discography, being such a new artist, she filled an hour with already well known tracks, some of which she changed to be more acoustic, and even some covers. It was short and sweet, but I think it will be a gig that I will be able to talk about in years to come. I predict big things for Banks.