ABC, Glasgow, Mon 23 Oct; Studio 24, Edinburgh, Wed 25 Oct
There are two renditions to the Lily Allen story. The first casts her as a hopeful potty-mouthed princess, effortlessly posting her calypso-pop tracks on Myspace and flashing two fingers at the record industry as she cruises to the top of the charts. The other sees her as the spoilt progeny of scenester father Keith, raiding his contact book to secure a record deal, and recalling the toughest times of her life being when her mother had to struggle to pay for her private education. While the rest of us have been formulating our interpretations, she has successfully stolen the hearts of teeny-boppers and hipsters alike, being equally in demand from fashion magazines and Saturday morning television.
However, despite inducing fits down south, her first ventures into Scottish territory have been tempered. While originally booked to play Edinburgh’s 2500 capacity Corn Exchange, the gig has since been resized to the cosier confines of Studio 24. There is the possibility that while she has captured the imagination of the media and pre-pubescents, the rest of the country are less interested in the summery pop of her album Alright, Still, now that winter is on the horizon.
These set backs aside, it seems premature to pronounce the Lily Allen road show as a hype over substance affair. Having only started playing live in the last three months her sets are notoriously unpolished but, so far, her boisterous presence has compensated for a lack of practice. No amount of media coaching could produce such publicity-generating gems as calling Bob Geldof a ‘sanctimonious prat’, and with her tongue having lashed its way through what seems like half the music industry, it is this chutzpah that marks her out from her more tedious contemporaries. Whether she will end up insulting her way out of contention remains to be seen.