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A thing of rare beauty as Sweden meets Great Plains; REVIEW: First Aid Kit at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena ????? .....

UNLIKELY combinations don't always work.

Despite what a rabble of foodies will tell you, the abomination that is chocolate and avocado cake is the devil's own work. In terms of grim crossovers, it's up there with dubstep metal.

And, by rights, "Swedish country and western music" should fall into the same category.

Yet Stockholm-raised sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg, aka First Aid Kit, have managed to make Scandinavian cowboy/cowgirl music a thing of rare beauty.

The pair started making music 11 years ago, when they were 16 and 14 respectively, and have since achieved international fame, picked up a Brit award nomination, and hit number three in the UK album charts with latest offering Ruins.

And their accomplished performance in Cardiff on Tuesday night proved why they've garnered such acclaim.

From the first strains of Distant Star, the siblings laid out a luscious vocal treat. The themes of whisky-soaked heartbreak infused their set, while the rockier You Are The Problem Here, put forward as an anthem against rape culture, showed their talents aren't confined to one genre.

But it was on songs where their pure, angelic, voices truly took centre stage - such as Hem of Her Dress and Emmylou - that the beauty of their music really shone out.

The performance was littered with nice touches, such as their old family photos projected onto the backdrop.

Yet it was the encore that provided the two towering moments. The show closed with a stunning version of arguably their best-known number, My Silver Lining. And it was preceded by the majestic Fireworks - a song of shimmering beauty every bit as dazzling as the laser light that flooded the auditorium for the night's visual and musical highlight.

With their songs of love, hope, and beauty, this particular first-aid kit could heal the hearts of even the most lonesome of cowboys.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 8, 2018
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