Mis-Teeq : London Scala

They've only got one album, so they play the decent songs from it and clear off, triumphant...

"They're talented! They're beautiful! Most of all, they're British!" Or so introduces DJ Spoony Off The Dreem Team. Yes, most of all they're from a country that is fucking freezing, tells immigrants they should start enjoying 'Last Of The Summer Wine' or get off our land, and releases paedophile sex offenders back in the community so that they may rape and kill eight year old girls. What a fantastic country to 'represent'.

Not that Mis-Teeq

represent it that much, as it turns out: tonight's best songs, like the Destiny's & Celeste epic 'Nasty', are all rooted in R&B, and the tracks dropped into the set (Dr Dre, MOP, Eve, etc.) are fairly obviously not British. They are, in fact, American. Even the bits that are supposed to be UK garage are mauled into oblivion by the inevitable 'live band', the usual ramshackle posse of spag-out session musos needlessly drafted into these events. At the front, one person holds a banner towards the stage. It might sayMis-Teeq! Cast away your indie integrity, for you are not indie!", though NME is forced to concede that it probably says nothing of the sort.

Live instrument issues aside, Mis-Teeq themselves reinforce their reputation as toppest-notch performers (they're note perfect and singing totally live) as easily as they squash suspicions that they're the urbanAtomic Kitten. It's already established that Alesha is one of the country's most talented young MCs but Su-Elise's own talents are also given a chance to shine tonight as she freestyles over MOP's 'Ante Up'. A floor-shaking encore of 'One Night Stand' caps a show that's even the perfect length - they've only got one album, so they play the decent songs from it and clear off, triumphant.

This has nothing at all to do with whether the band are from New York or Nuneaton. Mis-Teeq are in danger of falling into the same trap as acts like Damage, which is to believe that they are ace because they're British. Not true: Mis-Teeq are ace - tonight being a case in point - simply because they're ace.

Peter Robinson

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