Lily Allen, La Roux

Paul Cook 27/03/2009

Just the one support for Lily Allen on her current UK Tour then, but after all, one credible, talented newcomer is better than three dead-enders. Hence La Roux filling the support slot for the duration of the tour and living up to expectations fantastically. Dubbed as an electro-pop duo, La Roux appeared on stage in front of a huge white curtain, given only a sliver of the stage to perform on.

Front-woman and lead singer Elly Jackson and co-producer Ben Langmaid opened the night with best-known chart hit In For The Kill. Sounding record quality with on-the-nose vocals all seemed fairly solid. However, it was two aspects of La Roux's material that results in a rather lack lustre live show. Firstly, having every element bar the vocals and keyboard provided by a laptop sitting on stage is a no-no in any music fan's book. A dedicated drummer and bassist would make La Roux a fantastic live prospect. Further to this, the fact that the duo only performed five or six tracks filling just half an hour of the night just isn't good enough. Tickets to this were pushing 25 and although most of that is for Lily Allen and her lavish production, it still isn't satisfying to be given a half hour of support.

After the short, sharp support act, Lily Allen arrived on stage, silhouetted behind the giant white curtain. As the first beat of LDN hit, the curtain dropped and revealed Allen dressed in a bright purple dress standing amidst a giant four letter backdrop - “L.I.L.Y” - and extensive 5 or 6 piece band. The show played out much like a greatest hits tour, with Lily performing the best known tracks from both her debut and recent sophomore effort. The Fear, Fuck You, 22 Littlest Things, Smile, Alfie and a rendition of three or four tenuous covers and mixes all went down very well with the clearly-devoted crowd.

Covers of Britney's Womaniser, Take That's Who'd Have Known, Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris' Dance Wiv Me and The Kaiser Chief's Oh My God peppered the set list and despite appearing to be shameless rip-offs and filler were actually quite innovatively performed and showed a dynamism to Lily Allen that many might not have known existed. Drum and Bass and Dubstep mixes and interludes also featured and Allen's drummer displayed some impressive rhythm's at times. Despite performing this plethora of material Allen was still only on stage an hour ending the night at a tepid 10pm. A solid night of music soured only by the fact that there wasn't enough of it.