LIVE – BANKS + Maeve @ O2 Institute, Birmingham, UK

Review & Photography by Robert Barrett

The streets of Digbeth were unusually silent, not a partygoer or worker in sight. That is apart from the O2 Institute, where a large gathering of keen BANKS fans were waiting excitedly for her show. It may have been a day of mourning for the country, but for everyone inside it was business as usual for this stop on the Serpentina tour.


Due to the large steps set up for the main act Maeve and her band found themselves Crammed onto a small part of the stage. However, the lack of room didn’t stop her from making an energetic entrance jumping and strutting around the compact space. 


“Bleach” promoted a mass signalong to its hypnotic bass beats. The fact she was able to create a headliner atmosphere within the confines of the stage and times shows great promise for the future.

Two figures crawled out from the darkness, bodies contorting, moving like reptiles. BANKS appeared on the top of the steps to “Misunderstood”, the backing dancers joining her for an intricate dance routine. The set skirted the line between pop and more experimental music, reflective of all sides of her back catalogue.

Her powerhouse vocals shined on tracks such as “Meteorite” and “Better”, especially when paired with the non-stop dance routines. The tempo rarely slowed down, expect for the standout performance of “someone new” in which the theatrics were stripped back for an intimate performance, Just BANKS and the crowd as she sat on the steps.

Ending with a euphoric “Holding Back”, the set came to a close. Considering the significance of the day, BANKS came through with a stellar pop performance.

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