Katy Pery At The Odyssey Review

9 12 2011

So, a few days ago I posted up a video of the Horrible Crowes covering Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream,’ so today I thought it might be cool to reprint my review of the aformentioned lovely lady’s gig at the Odyssey a month or so ago that ran in Hot Press.

Oh and the pic below is stolen from Ramsey Cardy.Go check him out at www.shoottothrill.co.uk 

Katy Perry at the Odyssey, Belfast

Tonight, in front of a sold out crowd of blue wig wearing mini-me’s, multi-million selling hit factory Katy Perry kicks off the 109th show on her never-ending California Dreams World Tour with ‘Teenage Dream’ and in just three minutes she effortlessly justifies why she’s one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. Backed by a white suit sporting band, the singer (who is celebrating her birthday in a few hours time) is every inch the perfect performer and belts out the likes of ‘Waking Up In Vegas,’ ‘Ur So Gay’ and ‘Peacock’ without breaking a sweat.

But this evening’s show isn’t just about the songs. She’s also woven a typically bonkers back story into the performance which tells the tale of a girl named Katy who works in a butcher’s shop and is secretly in love with the unfortunately named Baker’s Boy. After enduring an especially grim day cutting up meat, she goes to bed and wakes up in techni-colour sweet-filled world where she spends most of her time searching for her cat Kitty Purry (get it?). Needless to say it’s all as pink and fluffy as Louie Spence’s living room, but it helps fill the time between costume changes nicely.

 There are loads of highlights to tonight’s performance and Katy also has plenty of interaction with the crowd throughout the show. Just before ‘I Kissed A Girl,’ the ball-gown and red and yellow feather boa clad singer encourages a male fan to take his shirt off before dragging him up onstage to poke a little fun at him. “Your name’s Keith?” she coos. “That’s my dad’s name. Maybe you can be my daddy tonight. Is that too creepy?” Yes Katy, yes it really is…

Still, we’ve got the likes of the nu-crunk future classic that is ‘E.T.’ to help banish the weird images from our brains and the stripped back rendition of ‘The One That Got Away’ (which also features a brief run-through of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’) shows that Katy can still charm a crowd without all the bells and whistles. At certain points the storyline does get a little bizarre (mid-way though, giant meat props hang from the rafters like something out of Morrissey’s worst nightmare) and we kinda wish she crammed in a few more songs instead of making room for dancing slot machines, quick change magic acts and sexy Hulk Hogan outfits, but the likes of the storming ‘Hot ‘N’ Cold’ ‘Thinking Of You’ and Mario Balotelli’s favourite song ‘Firework’ ends the show in spectacular fashion.

Edwin McFee

The Horrible Crowes

31 08 2011

Next week the debut album by the Horrible Crowes comes out, so here’s a reprint of my review of the LP that ran in Hot Press.It’s my album of the year so far and if you like night-time music and having a wee mope (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then check it out.

The Horrible Crowes

Elsie (Side One Dummy)

Four and a half stars

Key Track: ‘Behold The Hurricane’

Gaslight singer delivers plenty of anthems for his debut side project.

Billed as Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon’s “quiet band,” the Horrible Crowes is a brand new side project that sees the crooner pair up with his old friend Ian Perkins and for the duration of their debut album Elsie they unashamedly indulge their inner torch singers and channel Tom Waits, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, the Afghan Whigs and more on this hugely entertaining opus. Though not quite as chilled out as we were initially expecting, the songs on the record are sexy and soulful and fans will be pleased to know that they stand shoulder to shoulder with some of his best work in his “day job.”

In addition to being a skilled melody writer, Fallon is also a super-talented wordsmith and his heart-sick lyrics really shine on the mellow material and lines like “It’s such a shame/I heard the wind say this morning/Be still my heart/I age by years at the mention of your name” (‘Behold The Hurricane’) really come alive thanks to the more relaxed musical delivery. The perfectly measured melancholy of ‘Cherry Blossoms,’ the anthemic ‘Crush’ and the Waits-esque carnival stomp that is ‘Mary Ann,’ all see the singer at the peak of his powers and there is rarely a wasted moment on this inspired release. Pick this up now.  

Edwin McFee