Polly Scattergood (3 stars)

Polly Scattergood

Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Mon 13 Apr


The wispy, diminutive Brit School graduate may seem ill-suited to the sweaty, underground musk of Sneaky Pete’s – what with her sparkling blue dress, poofed out at the bottom, and her ever so sweet, ever so timid greetings – but behind the microphone, Polly Scattergood turns into a wailing fairytale child – confident yet dreamy, passioned yet pure. Every inch the Alice in indieland.

Akin to a Laura Marling armed with the technology of La Roux, she offers sweet sentiment, yet ultimately delivers bitter accusations, leading with piano but backed by electronic elements when it all just gets too much. Her inexperience becomes her advantage as electro-pop is delivered with the voice of a more comprehensible Bjork, with ‘Other Too Endless’ and ‘I Hate the Way’ particularly racing examples of feist and attitude mixed with angelic whimsy.

It all combines with a talent bursting to come out, and a voice that’s not easy to forget. And when you can already end a set with a song as powered and emphatic as ‘Nitrogen Pink’, there’s always a future.

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