It’s 16 years since the Avalanches’ era-defining ‘Since I Left You’. How can a follow-up that took so long sound so meh?
In an all-too-brief six-song set, our synth-toting heroine beats the PA problems and wins hearts. New Hero, Brighton (September 9)
Yet despite Victoria’s status as a YouTube superstar thanks to her regular series of “funtimes” cover versions (check her amazing classical piano reimagining of Heartbreak’s ‘We’re Back’), this is her first ever show fronting the Little Boots band. She’s understandably anxious, and her butterflies only flutter faster when the PA in newly opened Brighton venue New Hero fails to cope with the “alien dolphin noises” of her intro tape and blows a gasket. What’s more there’s no proper stage, which means Victoria – who barely scrapes five foot – is only visible to the 10 people crammed in the front row. This is a shame because most of the crowd misses the way she envelops herself in her music, pawing at her rack of electronic toys (including the now-famous Tenori-on) without surrendering any of her obvious diva magnetism.
She’s both halves of the classic synth-pop duo rolled into one – the glamour girl and the geek; Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke; Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory. On the sumptuous ‘Click’ she goes one better, channelling both of the Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield. ‘Stuck On Repeat’, meanwhile, is nothing less than ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ skewered with a shiny Italo-disco blade. Little Boots’ set is currently only six songs long and a little scrambled but is arguably the better for its brevity – it’s a fleeting thrill, like a snatched kiss on a train platform. She may be garnering comparisons to Annie, Robyn, Ladyhawke and Lykke Li but, truth is, the enchanting Miss Hesketh has the potential to outflank the lot of ’em.
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