With most bands you go to see these days, you can predict what kind of people you’ll find in the crowd. At a gig last week I overheard someone say “There are SO many hipsters here”, and I couldn’t help but think “… No shit. You’re at a Daughter gig in a church”. However, Little Boots (real name Victoria Hesketh) remains a little trickier to judge. Her debut album was straight up radio-friendly electro pop, so will she be pulling in a Taylor Swift-esque crowd of teenage girls and mums that fear listening to any station other than Heart? But her second album had more of a deep house vibe, and the third was more like disco… Somehow, this resulted in an audience that seemed to be predominantly male with an average age of around 35. Not necessarily what you’d expect.
Projected onto the back wall of XOYO’s tiny stage is an old school animated GIF of Little Boots made up of three frames, and the voicemail message intro to her new album plays out: “Hello, you’ve reached On Repeat Records. If you know the extension you require, please enter it now. Alternatively, for marketing please press “1”, for distribution please press “2”, or, if you can think of anything better to do with your time than sit listening to this recorded message, please replace the handset and go, make something happen”.
In keeping with business-chic theme that Hesketh has adopted for her recent album Working Girl, the band (made up of two backing singers, a guy on synths/samplers and Boots herself) stepped onto the stage dressed in their best formal businesswear. She thanked the audience for “attending tonight’s meeting” and praised their recent productivity; she’s fully committed to concept and even has to stop to take a call (but not really, obviously).
Despite battling technical difficulties, which were blamed on the office recently receiving a new fax machine, the band put on a fantasticly energetic show. It’s a good job that Hesketh is so small (I checked, she’s quoted as being “pretty much dead on 5ft nothing”) – if she were much bigger, she would’ve struggled to dance around the stage in the way that she did.
The setlist is almost entirely comprised of tracks that were released as singles from Little Boots’ three albums and serves as a ‘Greatest Hits’ of her career so far, which she rounds off with a cover of the Ace of Base hit ‘All That She Wants’ to end the evening. Often there will be fan favourites that seem to go down especially well, or people shouting out to hear the old songs and shuffling off to the bar during the newer ones, but the London crowd enjoy it all. Little Boots doesn’t seem to tour very often, but with any luck she’ll be back soon!
Photos by Dan Hess.