Gig review: Lily Allen, Glasgow

Lily Allen is one the few artistes whose personality is as important as her singing or song'writing abilities. Picture: Getty
Lily Allen is one the few artistes whose personality is as important as her singing or song'writing abilities. Picture: Getty
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For singer, songwriter, pop star, television personality, wife and working mum Lily Allen, what attracts some fans may be what puts others off – it’s all about her.

Lily Allen - Academy, Glasgow

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She is, like it or not, one of those few pop artists whose own cult of personality outweighs the repute of most of her music. Yet to see her live is to get more of a handle on where she’s coming from, and to realise that – when it’s as well-judged as this – blending celebrity with aspirations to make good music needn’t be mutually exclusive.

For a start, she’s got a sense of humour about the whole thing – we can tell this by the way her stage lighting design consists of a couple of dozen large glowing baby bottles hung amidst her and her band.

There’s also a refreshing degree of honesty to both her introductions to the songs (she doesn’t let a gap in proceedings go by without a bit of conversation) and to the lyrics themselves, for example As Long As I Got You’s genuine affection for her husband and their family, or the flippant head-shaking about those who judge another by their drug habits in Everyone’s At It.

In person there was something endlessly endearing about her, and her well-judged walking of the tightrope between sass and mateyness, while amidst it all there were some genuinely lovely pop moments, for example the bout of 21st century nerves The Fear, and the mighty show of disdain for whoever deserves it F*ck You.

Last year’s John Lewis advert soundtrack song, Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know, was returned almost grudgingly to her set “seeing as it’s coming up to Christmas”.

Seen on 22.11.14