Chrissie Hynde appeared as part of the Meltdown festival (this year curated by James Lavelle) at the Royal Festival Hall last night. The bulk of the show was promoting her new album, ‘Stockholm’, which has only just been released, so we haven’t had a chance to hear or get to know the songs yet. Still, ‘You or No One’ and ‘In a Miracle’ sound like songs which will repay multiple listens.
Flanked by Swedish flags and her touring band (more starry names appeared on the record, like Neil Young and John McEnroe), Hynde was in good voice and looked every inch the cool professional post-punk star in white jacket and old school tie.
Following the ‘Stockholm’ songs the mood changed to honour some of her favourite songwriters, with Jarvis Cocker’s ‘Walk Like A Panther’ being a particular highlight, sexy, laid-back and slightly dangerous. The show finished with a couple of old favourites from The Pretenders days, ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ getting the audience out of their seats and streaming down the staircases and aisles for a dance, and ‘Hymn to Her’ (just Hynde and her keyboardist) being an effortless fusion of melody.
A quick note on the support act, Zacharias Blad, a Swede who with his family came through Swedish television talent shows. His style is reminiscent of a camp Jim Morrison on speed, but he certainly has energy. He’s probably the oddest live act I’ve seen in a long time.