Left of Revolution

Review of the Left at London Live Concert at KEXP

Written by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Ma'Chell Duma

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Pointed, sarcastic, political, trans, Left at London, the stage name of musician and comedian Nat Puff, is a leftover gem of the Tumblr generation, what happens when the formerly silenced of us get a platform and a little bravery. With little effort, she’s remained stuck in my head ever since I heard the fated words, “nobody asked for this and nobody wants this, but here’s 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' in a major key!” At the risk of sounding too much like a “kids these days be on the internet” kind of statement maker, Left at London, her music mixed with her brazenly political Twitter and effortlessly hilarious Tik Tok, has formed the perfect storm of persona.

Left at London’s KEXP concert represents a small and tender piece of the puzzle of her as a performer. Channeling the legacy of punk girls with sparse and biting lyric the likes of Le Tigre or Sleater-Kinney, Left at London is a force armed with a laptop and a guitarist. Dressed in a painted jumpsuit and glitter, Left at London is a reminder of all Seattle punk should be: loud, a little messy, political, and mostly, unapologetic.

Roaring in with gay survival anthem, “Revolution Lover”, Nat Puff sings lines like “even if heaven doesn’t take us we tried,” before proclaiming “we’ll be alright!” It’s the kind of song to shout in your bedroom late at night when no one else can hear. Other songs like "I Split My Ribs Open" and "Waiting on a Ghost" display a kind of radical vulnerability. With lyrics like “I don’t want to kiss you, I don’t even want to be friends, I just want to be told when it ends”, Puff shows off her core talent: honesty.

Left at London, Live on KEXP. Photo by Tia Ho.

In her conversation during the concert, Puff reveals the title of her upcoming album, You are Not Alone Enough. While the KEXP video came out July of 2019, and the album still hasn’t seen the light of day, although a few days ago she released a new EP, titled Jenny Durkan, Resign in Disgrace, using a hashtag which has accompanied her consistent calls for Seattle’s mayor to resign on twitter. Both titles do what Left at London does best. Using a snippet of a phrase, she builds out her own bright world.

Some of the most tender moments of Left at London’s show comes from her rapport with the KEXP host, John Richards. In their conversation, the infallibility of Left at London, the performer, takes a backseat to Nat Puff, the person. Puff talks candidly about the difficulties of living with mental illness and as a queer person. Although at times she is shaky, noting she has BPD and autism which makes social interaction difficult, she is without fail, honest. When asked about "Revolution Lover," she notes “[the LGBT community] don’t get a lot of moments where we’re able to breathe and feel okay.” The message Puff sought to give surely lasted long after the video ended.

Left at London's Live at KEXP concert was performed March 27, 2019, but is available via kexp.org. For more information see here.

Lead photo credit: Left at London, Live on KEXP. Photo by Tia Ho.

This review was written as part of mentorship program where members of the Teen Editorial Staff receive one-on-one mentorship by Press Corps Teaching Artists and professional critics. The Teen Editorial Staff is made up of 6 teens who lead the TeenTix Newsroom and curate the review portion of the TeenTix blog. More information about the Teen Editorial Staff can be found HERE.

The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.

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