Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Little Miss Confident

Robyn has been announced as one of the support acts on Madonna's Sweet & Sticky tour. Robyn will play support at 9 venues starting in Nice on August 26th. There are no plans for her to play support in the UK where she recently toured as a solo artist. The full details of those European tour dates are here. Last year I went to see Robyn live in concert and a review of that show is below. She is amazing in concert and the combination of seeing her and Madonna on the same day, well, all I can say is you, lucky, lucky people. The review below was previously published on my other blog All The Way To New York. Andreas Kleerup is fiddling with the amp, he turns the volume way up and there is a whoomp! of sound, the crowd are knocked back and there is a collective burst of laughter, my ears are like something on a supersonic plane, I turn to my friend and say "We'll end up in St. James!". Saturday night in Dublin's The Village and Kleerup, the music behind the voice of Robyn are playing, their songs, mostly instrumental, so far are ok, but the sound isn't great and then they have a moment of perfection in the shape of the song "Thank you for Nothing". There is a loop video of scenes from "Miami Vice", the original TV show, playing on a screen behind Kleerup. I watch the screen thinking "wasn't Don Johnson beautiful!", the music though is subliminally art- techno gorgeous. On his myspace page Andreas lists Giorgio Moroder as an influence but there is also Fleetwood Mac and Michael McDonald, music heaven to me. The last song Andreas plays is a droning version of "Wonderful World", dedicated to Phil Lynott. There is a lengthy wait until Robyn appears. All week I wondered what she would look like, would she be dressed as an astronaut or a potted plant or even a yellow road digger as pictured above, but no, none of these, those photographs and images are all just for publicity. Robyn bounds out onto the tiny stage in a leather jacket, tight skirt, tights and a wonder bra enhancced vest. She is Kylie small and you realise the best pop princesses are all tiny. A few years ago I saw the Scissor Sisters in the same venue before all the hype exploded and they turned their debut album into a greatest hits album, this venue was also ideal for Robyn and you really hope, in equal measure, that more success will follow her and also that she keeps the sheer energy and little stick of dynamite quality that is evident every minute of her performance. Andreas and his two bandmates turn out to be brilliant musicians. There are two factors that made this concert pop perfection, the first is that the crowd, a wide age mix adores her and knows all the words of her songs, something she comments on mid way and then there are the songs. They are tight and loud, Robyn knows she's a good performer but this confidence is a mix of professionalism and someone still having fun after over a decade touring and creating. "Who's that Girl" and "Handle Me" sound wonderful live. There is also humour peppered throughout the show. When she introduces "Keep the Fires Burning", she says that the audience may recognise it as it was a song she wrote and became a hit for Beverley Knight, she says "I think she sings it really beautiful but I just think that I sing it better". This may sound cocky on page but it was really funny hearing her day it in her little Disney demented character voice. She also reveals that the great "Bum like You" song was written after seeing a documentary on the writer Charles Bukowski, saying that he was awful to women but "always gets the woman". On her website it says that "Konichiwa Bitches" is her signature song but of course it isn't, "With Every Heartbeat" is, sadly the sound went back to dodgy for this song but it still gave me goosebumps. "Cobrastyle" and "Crash and Burn Girl" were also simply amazing. She did 4 encores, two sets of two, one a Swedish folk-song version of her American hit "Show me Love", I had read recently that she prefers to just do new material but she said after the song, "it's nice what you can do with an old song",the last being acoustic versions of "With Every Heartbeat" and "Be Mine" accompanied just with Andreas on guitar. This seems proper as they have created the best pop song of the last 12 months in the form of "With Every Heartbeat". Another memorable moment was before the encore the crowd did a chant, myself and my friend couldn't make it out at first but it was "one more tune!". Boys kissed boys and girls kissed girls and straight couples looked happy too and for one evening Robyn world was a sweet place to be.
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