It’s been ten years since The Indigo Girls last graced UK shores, and the warm reception from tonight’s crowd highlights that they’ve been waiting patiently for all that time. It “takes an awfully long time for lesbians to get pregnant” Amy Ray is quick to highlight, and with both her and Emily Saliers now embracing motherhood, its clear why it has taken so long for the acclaimed duo to find the time to leave their respective families for an overseas tour.
True to their activist roots it doesn’t take long before the music and politics intersect, with Saliers and Ray joined by Lucy Wainwright Roche for the likes of Hammer and Nail, their delicate harmonies contradicting the tone of the song. It’s Shame on You which perhaps most effortlessly reflects their political acumen however and though it was penned some 20 years ago, as they talk about the need to stay in the US and “dig in and try and make things better” after the election of Trump, it seems as relevant as ever. Elsewhere Sailers electric accompaniments to Go highlight the duos ability to play with their trademark folk sound, adding grit and depth to a song about political activism.
It’s not all politics however and the likes of Power of Two and Loves Recovery act as a reminder that The Indigo Girls most powerful weapon has always been their ability to capture human emotion into 3 minute songs. For me this is no better evidenced than on closing number Closer To Fine, and whilst the rest of the crowd take to their feet to sing along, I can’t fail but the be captivated by the complexities of the melodies.
With a career spanning more than 30 years, tonight The Indigo Girls confirm that they’re still as relevant as ever, delivering songs from across their extensive back catalogue. With a nod to Lucy’s Aunt in the form of Hammond Song, and an unexpected rendition of Kid Fears, tonight confirms they are still firing on all cylinders, and acts as a reminder that whilst 10 years is far too long a hiatus it is also well worth the wait.