Furtado, Nelly : London Kentish Town Forum

A curate's egg from the birdlike singer...

Look over there at the ranks of lesbians making ‘bird’ shapes with their hands. And there – with the goatees and the stupid hats – the Jazz Funkers. At a POP gig! Sphincter tightens! Skin prickles with the goose pimples and cold sweat of naked fear!

OK, take a deep breath and calm down. Maybe they’re here by mistake.

Nelly walks on stage with a Battersea Dogs Home’s worth of enthusiastic but visually unpleasant ‘real’ musicians. And then proceeds to bore your arse off with a staccato rap track. And next up is a tedious ‘world music’ mish-mash. So you struggle to the bar, gingerly pushing your way through the tightly wedged and near-orgasmic lesbians. And arrive just in time to find all the bar staff too fucking totally enraptured by an amazing rendition of ‘I’m Like A Bird’ to be arsed serving.

Another jazz funk abortion is followed by – [I]quelle horreur![/I] – a Furtado-penned Portuguese ‘folk’ song. NOOOOOOOOOO! Back to the bar again, quick. You arrive, of course, just in time for the bar staff to be severely distracted by an astounding ‘Turn Off The Light’ and a brilliant song called ‘On The Radio’. This last song, apparently, is inspired by a boyfriend who dumped Nelly after she got big. And it ends with her bouncing around the stage like an epileptic kangaroo on a pogo-stick, crowing, [I]”My shit on the radio!/My shit on the TV!”[/I]. Which leaves you thinking that the aforementioned ex-boyfriend is a bit of a sad arse. After all, having a girlfriend who suddenly becomes a global pop star is bit like having a winning lottery ticket. But a lottery ticket that might, at any moment, fly away, of course. Like a bird.

Bottom line – Nelly is STILL God. But she needs to drop all the non-pop shit and take a leaf out of The Beatles’ book by padding her set out with Chuck Berry covers until such time as she’s written enough solid-gold pop classics to fill the entire hour.

And get some Slipknot style horror-masks for the backing band.

Steven Wells