Lily Allen at Brixton Academy
Last Christmas, Lily Allen lit up television sets with her reworking of Somewhere Only We Know, the soundtrack to the 2013 John Lewis advert. Within 12 months, she has re-established herself back into pop consciousness; this Christmas she celebrates the season with her screaming worshippers at Brixton Academy.
The nativity launched Allen’s Christmas party as she appeared beneath the star of Bethlehem, guided by her three wise men on guitars and keyboard. It was sweet, typical, tongue-in-cheek Allen.
It’s clear her personality has matured, as she showed genuine pride in her family through Life for Me, and giggled at moments, flustered and humbled by her the continuous rapturous reception. However, her liberating nature is still evident and took the form of profanity sing-alongs to singles Hard Out Here and F*** You, where the crowd could sing freely without sacrificing swear jar money. She even invited members of the crowd onto the stage to savour a moment of fame.
Colourful pulsating baby bottle props were testament to Allen’s motherhood, while a glimmering mirror-ball dress and her electro house transmutations, including a remix of bluegrass number Not Fair, provided a surprising yet appropriate nightclub atmosphere that pumped up the excitement on a Friday night.
Ironically, Allen muted the original chaotic frenzy in dubstep track URL Badman in favour of steady simplicity, while her wise men powerfully invigorated life into her other pop songs, including earlier hits Smile and The Fear, by giving them rock-fuelled complexity and organic thrust. She took other potential risks too: after a crowd-pleasing first chapter that got fanatics mouthing her words precisely, she introduced unfamiliar songs Who Do You Love and Miserable Without Your Love from a deluxe version of her latest album. It predictably resulted in the quietest moments from the crowd, but nonetheless showed vocal strength away from heavy basslines and obscene lyrics.
Allen completed her tour year and festive celebration sentimentally with a gratuitous story about a life-changing and career-defining moment. It aptly preceded the introduction of an operatic choir of astonishingly talented children that beautifully performed Somewhere Only We Know with Allen`s underutilised falsetto.
It was an awe-inspiring moment fuelled with Christmas spirit and typified a show that caressed the timeline of her music with brave ideas that succeeded in entertaining her admiring army.
Matt Taylor Hobbs
For further information about Lily Allen and future events visit here.
Watch the video for URL Badman here: