London is Lily Allen’s home. It’s the place where she grew into the vivacious personality we know and love and it’s the place where the majority of the musician’s back catalogue was inspired, and then later crafted. She even has a song lovingly named after the capital, so it’s not surprising there’s an unfamiliar air of overexcitement in the atmosphere for a London show inside the Roundhouse this evening.
Opening with ‘Come On Then’, the first track on her Mercury Prize nominated fourth album ‘No Shame’, she croons, “If you go on record saying that you know me then why am I so lonely ‘cos nobody fucking phones me,” to over a thousand voices shouting the words straight back at her.
‘Trigger Bang’, unfortunately without Giggs this evening, oozes nostalgic appeal, as she sings, “When I young I was blameless, playing with rude boys and trainers,” and more nods to nostalgia come in the form of piano pop bite ‘Knock ‘Em Out’, as well as breakthrough singles ‘Smile’ and ‘LDN’.
Surprises reveal themselves in the form of a cover of Lykke Li’s ‘deep end’ and a completely new song. Titled ‘Party Line’, is more refreshingly honest lyricism from the singer as she depicts how she can take things a little bit too far sometimes - “Wish I hadn’t drunk that seventh glass of wine,” - we’ve all been there Lily.
A staggering 12 tracks from ‘No Shame’ wangle their way into the set list, but you can’t really expect anything less from such a raw and frank record. It’s Lily’s voice and it deserves to be heard.
Opening the encore, and transforming the Camden venue into a glorified rave with laser lights and Shy FX on the decks, Lily performs her recent collaboration with the DJ and producer ‘Roll The Dice’. A stark contrast the lullabies of ‘Family Man’ and ‘Three’ heard previously in the evening, it’s still cohesive, threaded by the singer’s captivating stage presence.
Ending on ‘Fuck You’, she explains, “I wrote this song a long time ago when George W Bush was president and I had no idea what was coming. I’m not talking about Obama, I’m talking about Trump. And Theresa May…what are you saying London, are we gonna stand for this shit?”
And as the chorus kicks in there doesn’t seem to be a middle finger not in the air, switching lyrics for the sentiment, “I wanna stay in the European Union.”
No shame in that.
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Words: Shannon Cotton
Photography: Anna Smith
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