[B]Naomi[/B] even possesses the sort of steely confidence and a way of 'projecting atcha' which allows her to get away with singing the entire set in a full-on American accent...

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London WC1 ULU

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London WC1 ULU

Grrr. Lioness in the area. The unsuspecting audience seem somewhat intimidated by the prowling form onstage. Midlands chanteuse Naomi and her dazzlingly buffed rock-block band have clearly not come to audition for the ethereal slot on Lilith Fair. They are here to raunch atcha.

Her packaging makes the just-one-name Naomi seem like a popette. In reality she’s all trad rock trappings and Alanis-authenticated songcraft topped off with a wild voice. The mega-chorused tousled blues of ‘Be My Lover’ lurches by with its complement of [I]”let me go down”[/I] saucy lyrics. A tambourine is given a beating for the Garbage-gone-folk of ‘Stripped’. And there are special ballads and enough moody grinding to pull her back from the brink of brazen.

Naomi even possesses the sort of steely confidence and a way of ‘projecting atcha’ which allows her to get away with singing the entire set in a full-on American accent. She bosses her band about, lectures the crowd on being sluggish, and walks offstage leaving her boys to raunch on, like you do when you’re an un-deconstructed, transatlantic-centred, big-voiced, big-ambitioned, Brit-Sheryl star in the making. Radios will roar.