We caught a vibe
Fraser Gladstone
15:46 10th December 2021

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Who is WILLOW? To her critics she is the entitled daughter of an A-List marriage but to her beloved fans she is a post-punk, pop-rock goddess, and last night at the Electric Ballroom in Camden she was nothing but worshipful.

She’s sporting a little black dress as she comes on stage but really, she’s garbed head to toe in swagger. Bouncing around the stage it’s clear to see that she wants to be there, and she wants you to want to be there too. She’s got enough energy and charisma to make up for her non-descript band, who support with a classic set-up that fills a cramped stage. 

WILLOW's fans will be familiar with the many developments she’s taken both musically and stylistically but those who know her only by her hits may be surprised to see she’s shaved her head. Perhaps nothing more than a fashion choice or perhaps a message: a message to say she’s no longer the little girl thrust into fame by family fortune, rather she’s her own artist now with an identity built by no one but her. Needless to say, she’s not whipping her hair anymore. 

Since tickets went live for this event WILLOW has experienced relatively dramatic career growth through her collaboration with Tyler Cole as ‘The Anxiety’ but it’s only her name on the ticket and she reminds fans of that via a set-list that leans as much on her older numbers as it does on her latest album Lately I Feel EVERYTHING.

But while Tyler Cole is nowhere to be seen—his voice nothing more than a backing track played during WILLOW’s performance of 'Meet Me at our Spot'—the ever-morphing ethereal fashion icon that is brother Jaden graces the crowd with his presence for her penultimate song—much to the delight of the fans. It’s a nice touch. 

The siblings have great chemistry: good enough to make up for an overall lack of choreography or timing as they both strut left to right waving arms akimbo. At one-point Jaden stops to take a selfie with a fan and it suddenly feels a little masturbatory in the celebrity cult sense but then Jaden exits the stage and WILLOW regains the room. By the last song it’s fair to say she’s won the hearts of her audience and proven her voice isn’t just for the studio. Truly we’ve “caught a vibe.” 

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Photo: Katie McLellan Salisbury