Pseudo-anonymous blog faves Keep Shelly in Athens concluded their first string of North American performances with a stop at Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom. Following a pair of perky warm-up sets from Abadaba (remixed on the duo’s recent Our Own Dream EP) and New York’s own Body Language, the Grecian twosome arrived on stage flanked by a guitarist and drummer to deliver a hourlong set of their sexy, slithery electropop.
Sarah P.’s cut pose and appearance are worthy of Beth Gibbons: Hair swept over half of her face, eyes closed, perennially dancing away from the audience she was transfixing. Though her banter between songs mainly consisted of shy, barely audible “thank you’s,” it offered a striking juxtaposition with her impressively deep singing, even richer and more assertive on stage then on record. Her belting on new EP highlights “Our Own Dream” and “DIY” betrayed a far more confident diva then her demeanor would have you believe. Her musical partner, RΠЯ, ably backed her up, recreating the nuanced electronic flourishes that have made their EPs go down so smoothly.
Though only released last year, In Love With Dusk cuts “Cremona Memories” and “Running Out of You” were greeted by the audience like the classics they will no doubt become in a few years, with the latter closing out the main set with a modest bang. Elsewhere, “Fairytale” lived up to its Saint Etienne roots by inciting the biggest dance off of the night.
The set was padded by the pair’s fine stopgap singles “Hauntin’ Me” and “A Tear in My I” as well as two new songs that suggested we’re in for even more greatness from Keep Shelly in Athens in the not too distant future.
In fact, they’ve already got a new EP called Campus Maritus due out next month.