The Coventry Kasbah on a Monday night is somewhere I readily avoid. It’s full of lairy students and scary middle age men all out with the single aim of upholding Britain’s image as booze-fueled nation of oafish thugs. It was a bit of a surprise therefore to see that much-tipped star of 2009 La Roux was playing one of her first ever gigs there. Baptisms of fire are always worth seeing, so I thought I’d pop along.
I spoke to La Roux for the final issue of Amelia’s Magazine, and in the interview she talked about how she was hoping to put together a really wowing live show. At the time I took this to mean something involving pyrotechnics and costumes and my imagination roamed. However, having seen her live, it seems she actually meant getting a band she liked, and putting together a performance she felt showcased her music. If this was the case then she certainly succeeded. The live show brought new life to her songs, and even the confused/ drunk audience seemed to enjoy it.
She opened with first single Quicksand, a throwback to 80’s electronic pop that showcased amazing songwriting and fantastic vocals, whilst also managing to stay firmly in the mainstream. Live it manages to retain its brashness, and her vocals demanded the crowd’s attention, though she only partially succeeds in maintaining it – which trust me, was still a big achievement.
I can’t wait for the day when she has enough successes behind her to actual have some kind of pyrotechnical, horrendously lavish stage show with glitter explosions and animals and dancers and stuff, but for somebody who hasn’t been in the public eye all that long, playing one of their first gigs – I was still heartily impressed. Try and catch her supporting Lily Allen on her next tour, or at one of her many gigs at YoYo (she’s playing every week in February).
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