Live: Spanners & Serving Plates. The Dø, The Garage.

There have, and most probably always will be beings and bands so unearthly that their very existence defies all logic. So gawkily lissom is Bradford Cox for instance it's a wonder he retains sentience on a daily basis. There's a being, and here's a band: French/Finnish pop pioneers The Dø. Returning to the hubbub of London in order that they may maintain the foundations cemented by the release of sophomore full-length Both Ways Open Jaws and to initiate a brisk European jaunt, the cirque stylings of the duo comprising vocalist/ guitarist Olivia Merilahti and multi-instrumentalist Dan Levy tonight have sold out stalls pulling off proverbial backflips in upturned adoration.

With minimal ado, they plunge into a heady vortex of skittering emotivity and burlesque skiffle and from the fluid melodrama of The Wicked And The Blind to the squinty-eyed dustbowl blues of Gonna Be Sick the pairing are symbiotic in both style and substance as Levy sits for the set's more subdued instances (à la the former) and struts, feather flickering from trilby rim to its more rambunctious points (the latter). Merilahti meanwhile, despite parsimoniously scrimping on debut A Mouthful, proves something of a handful: her wild motions unhinged; her trim fringe gradually unpinned she assimilates herself to the malfunctioning doll of PJ Harvey adorned in a lacerated bit of big top Mattel never made as she dementedly yodels "It's broken" ad infinitum in the closing moments of an invigorating rendition of The Bridge Is Broken that swiftly goes postal. Never contented on traipsing logically from A to B through Z however, the carnivalesque melancholia of Dust It Off brings an affecting, almost soporific lull that's one to drift off into rather than drift off to, before an industrial breakdown powered by megaphonic babel slashes through such slumberous feel.

Unheralded 'greatest hit' On My Shoulders is tonight imbued with visceral frisk, like an irked Nina Persson fronting Midlake's Roscoe. Indeed so indebted to The Cardigans' back catalogue is its wistful yet insistent woe that it practically retrospectively etches itself into the tracklisting on the reverse of that cracked copy of Gran Turismo festering beneath innumerable passenger seats along with the shrapnel and crinkles of now-decrepit crisp. Yet whereas previous appearances have been bolstered by a live rhythmist, that they're only backed by an ultimately proficient guitarist and a fellow accomplice on spanners, serving plates and saxophones lumps greater pressure on the figurative shoulders of Merilahti's sublime voice. That said on this sort of evidence it seems capable of bearing the integrated weight of both France and Finland as it veritably soars whilst she intermittently flaps limbs as if in vain hope of aviation. For whilst Merilahti may oft be classed with PJ and Persson and Siouxsie Sioux and her heroine Björk – certainly at points her vocals do sound quite redolent of each of the aforesaid – she ought to be added and not merely analogised to this sequence of exceptional vocalists. The stripped back brilliance of Was It A Dream? explicates this extraordinary ability quite wondrously, emulating the sultry exoticness pinpointed as the predominant aesthetic appeal to Nouvelle Vague and although a similar intrigue is here pricked, that the duo recite their own work (and given the strength thereof) they represent an infinitely more intoxicating proposition.

With egos in short supply and with an intense passion brooding between the duo, batted back and forth from perfervid pupils they purvey a collective genius and one that's utterly enriching.