Mark Lanegan at Koko Camden, London - live review

We left our heart in dark Mark’s disco

Crowd shot
(Image: © Katja Ogrin)

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Mark Lanegan’s transition from a frequently uncomfortable and pinned performer of gothic blues to a confident singer of gothic electro blues informed by the guiding hand of prime-time New Order and the kosmische of Krautrock is now complete. His tar-stained baritone remains a thing of dependable wonder, and with it comes a newfound love of performing that is both palpable and infectious.

Tonight’s encouraging gender split suggests that this singer of the dark is the stuff of date nights, and with a healthy proportion of the audience actually dancing on this sultry night, Lanegan has half the battle won.

Crucially, he has joined that rarified space occupied by seasoned performers whose current material is what actually the drives the agenda. There’s no laurel-resting here, and with the bulk of the set made up of songs from the albums he’s released from Blues Funeral through to Gargoyle, Lanegan and his well- drilled band aim squarely for the hips without sacrificing any of his customary intensity.

Death’s Head Tattoo merges menace with movement, while Nocturne and Floor Of The Ocean encapsulate perfectly his current aesthetic. Bodies sway in time to the forceful and seductive delivery. Elsewhere, convincing covers of Joy Division Atmosphere and Love Will Tear Us Apart, display where he’s at.

This is Mark Lanegan’s imperial period and long may it last.

Julian Marszalek

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.