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Saturday, November 18, 2006

It was alright, still, actually



In May I bought some tickets to see Lily Allen at the Astoria in November. Five months in advance is pretty extreme, even by London's spontaneity-free ticket-buying patterns. Lily Allen was a much more exciting commodity in May - no album, no real success, no gossip column inches nor sleeping-with-Mike-Skinner stories - just a MySpace profile, some excellent demos and a genuine sense of excitement that we may actually have a worthy pop star on our hands. The album, Alright, Still went in at number one and despite not sounding hugely far off the original demos, the Lily and her blogs have become over-exposed sound-bites on which lazy tags coule be placed - the most vulgar of which being "chav". Like, hello, she grew up in Islington?! Land of gastropubs and over-priced boutiques. Anyway, I had mixed-feelings before the gig - would she be able to sing live? Would she play eight songs and leave in a strop? Would the show be stale from being performed twenty too many times? Well, I was happy to have my doubts disproven. While six months of constant gigging have taken a bit of the spark out of Lily's performance, she did not disappoint in terms of talent, charisma or set length. She played everything that anybody's ever heard including acoustic covers of Keane and the Kooks, which kept the Q-reading audience very happy. Her voice was just as sweet and Lahndahn as on the record. She was utterly charming and served as a good lesson on not letting the press ruin your enjoyment of grade A pop music.

If you haven't seen it already her blog from Japan is adorable.

And if Lily Allen (or strong individual women making off-kilter modern pop music) is your thing then you simply must check out Robyn play her first UK shows in years and years at the end of the month. She's playing YoYo at Notting Hill Arts Club (incidentally where Lily did her first shows) on Thursday 30th November and then at the Pure Groove night at Hoxton Bar and Grill on 1st December. Be there or very square. Robyn's MySpaz.

posted by Robbie de Santos at 11/18/2006 06:15:00 pm

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