Little Boots at XOYO: Catchy and impertinently alluring | Love review
It was the night after of the London mayoral and GLA elections and the results were filtering through. It was also Victoria Christina Hesketh’s (aka Little Boots’) birthday when she performed at XOYO, London, 4th May 2012. The downstairs club was filled with simple-molodyniks, a bit like beatniks but less subversive, middle-classed and wrapped in a pink bubble. They were protected from the political shenanigans of the outside world, they swayed in her charisma and no doubt continued to sway and move gaily into the awfully serious night with the last track Shake ringing in their ears: ‘Shake, till your heart breaks…Shake, till your heart breaks.’
Little Boots played her own brand of pop-caught-between-house music to the delight of her crowd, who lapped up her performance. New tracks were place cheekily in between favourites from her first album such as Stuck on Repeat and New in Town. One of her new tracks, Headphones, epitomises her style: catchy and impertinently alluring. Little Boots sings “I wear my headphones in the disco, and nobody ever has to know, and when the music stops you hear me singing: la, la, la la, la…” Big men pump their fists to this – a bit surreal.
For all her comfort while she’s performing, Hesketh is a little shy and incoherent between songs. The crowd took this as an opportunity and started singing happy birthday to her in one interlude. She delightedly thanked them and moved quickly to the next song, the insanely popular Remedy.
Hesketh’s music is bigger than her (no pun intended), the personality of the tracks stronger than her diminutive self. There’s a charm in this and there’s definitely “rhythm in them there boots” but maybe not enough for sustained mass appeal. The Little Boots concept, her diminutive nature, leaves a tingle but not a lasting impression. Does she care for it? Her relaxed performance suggests not. The fact new material hasn’t been brought together in an LP is another sign of this.
Her second album has been long coming with new material finding its way into the ether through performances such as this one in London. Cancelled dates in the US have been followed by DJ appearances and a few mixtapes, again with new material embedded within. This leaking of Little Boots’ material gives her an underground edge, without the grit usually associated with it. Interviews suggest that she wants to be seen as complex, she aims for this depth. She does, however, need to find more grit and something a bit more from left-field if she’s to push on her brand.
Little Boots is, then, very much work in progress. A bit more context and depth to her performance and music would build on her earlier success. Hesketh claimed that her new material is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. It would only be right then to end with a quote from one of his poems, “O, lady bright! can it be right – / This window open to the night?”
Photos: Nurak Gülbudak
For further information and future gigs visit Little Boots’s website here.
Little Boots’s new single Every Night I Say a Little Prayer is available to download for free here.
Watch Little Boots’ new video here: