There’s a particular joy and a certain fevered intensity in the room when a proper pop star descends on King Tut’s. After an absence of four years in which she “got divorced and lost my mind”, Lily Allen returned to a vociferous welcome at this intimate show.
Lily Allen, King Tut’s, Glasgow ***
She could quite easily have filled a larger venue but this was a testing of the waters for her forthcoming album, No Shame, eventually birthed after a self-confessed crisis of musical identity. There were the understandable nerves about introducing new songs after so long away and a sense that she was not yet back in the sassy swing of it, despite the attitude which infuses her candid lyrics on oldies such as Knock ’Em Out, an all too identifiable tale of everyday harassment.
Her light, even flimsy voice contrasted with her lyrical bite, with debut single Smile still proving to be the most satisfying example of her sweet/sour approach to pop.
The best of her new songs, Cake has a similar lightness of musical spirit but with a cutting message to the guys wanting a “piece of the patriarchy pie”. The more earnest Family Man has the potential to quieten a room (not this room though, the crowd were having far too much fun). But many in this latest batch, including Pushing Up Daisies, a twee number dedicated to her new boyfriend, merely passed the time pleasantly en route to singalong favourites F*** You and the sleeker satire of The Fear, both of which are scarcely less relevant with the passing of time.