Hertfordshire starlet Charli XCX made a major step in her rise to stardom with the release of her debut album True Romance last week, and a celebratory show at The Old Blue Last last night, with support from the appropriately exciting YADi was befitting of the fan-base she continues to accumulate.
Covered in flashing lights and flanked by a proper old-fashioned drum kit and keyboard, her appearance onto the stage was met with screams of excitement. Opening with the track that first grabbed our attention, ‘You’re The One’, set the tone; with it’s sliding, bass-heavy drops and sparkling chorus it remains one of the strongest tracks in her repertoire.
The first few songs felt slightly tentative, as ‘You (Ha Ha Ha)’ and it’s Gold Panda sample didn’t quite pack the expected punch. However, the 20-year old completely warms up into the set, adding energy and a level of assertion to proper hits from the album, particularly its opener ‘Nuclear Seasons’. Likewise, ‘What I Like’ translates very well, and its chorus is a real highlight, thanks to its monstrously catchy chorus.
She is a striking performer, throwing hair back and chucking limbs in the air to ‘I Love It’, the closing song she “wrote for a band called Icona Pop”, not only proves what a knack she has for writing revved-up, attitude-filled pop but also serves as the most fired-up rendition of the night.
It felt a little bit like an early gig from a relatively experienced performer, but there is no doubt that Charli XCX has a host of hits at her disposal and these live shows will get better and better.