A lot is riding on the slender shoulders of Ms. Pip Brown as she takes to the stage of the Academy on a chilly Thursday eve, for she is The Future’¦.the headband sporting assassin of hoary old skinny-boy guitar rock here to offer us sparkly girl-shaped nuggets of Pop! Alas this does not feature a back-to-back duet of ‘Sisters’ with Little Boots, in fact there is a distinct lack of bells, whistles or indeed anything remotely exciting when she finally arrives on stage. Coltishly jerking as she gazes across the packed floor she stumbles through the utterly average(and quite apt) opener ‘Professional Suicide’ followed by a zombified version of ‘Better Than Sunday’.
The sedate, lacklustre beginning could be due to her infamous nervous nature or the A-Team style operation it took to shift the snowed-in band from Belfast to Dublin but matters do not improve greatly. Due to the sludgy sound her buttery Kim Wilde vocals are lost in a storm of guitars and whither the synths?? For an album that prides itself on a love for that particular brand of eighties artificiality, the daytime radio effect that makes every track sound vaguely familiar and is drenched in spiralling synths and sequencers it is a bizarre decision to adopt a traditional band set up for a live show.
The lack of euphoric, sweeping dance rhythms makes most of the set sound like a funky Sleeper and eventually when the keyboards are wheeled out you can sense the anticipation in the crowd but sadly they pack in and a promising version of ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ is unfortunately abandoned.
Thankfully though all is not lost and as they painfully pick themselves up after a dud B-side and even more yawnsome filler her palpable anxiety diminishes, she finally thaws remembering that she actually has amazing tunes in her repertoire and the fun begins with a dazzling version of ‘Another Runaway’ and the Stevie Nicks-tastic five-star Pop! dream of ‘Back of the Van’ before unleashing ‘Paris Is Burning’ where the crowd erupt and at last you can feel it’¦the soaring, pumping liberating feeling that only quicksilver-crafted pop music can give like being momentarily lost in a giant video breathing glitter. With a revived version of ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ and the exhilarating finale of ‘My Delirium’ it’s time for Ms. Brown to stop hiding behind her guitar and unleash the bone-fide pop-cadet that lurks beneath.