Live Review: Lily Allen – O2 Academy, Sheffield, November 16th 2009

British pop sensation Lily Allen kicks off the UK leg of her self-named Brilly-Allent Tour tonight in Sheffield and the sold out O2 Academy is a perfect venue for the start of what is sure to be one hell of a tour, with support from London-based rapper Example.

With only two acts on the bill Example takes to the stage with his electro-style rap that reminds me slightly of a younger Calvin Harris. Walking back and forth along the length of the stage trying his best to get the crowd revved up.

However, the 2500 capacity crowd didn’t really seem to be taking to well to his performance until mid-set he kicked into Watch the Sun Come Up, a song that has been getting quite a lot of radio air time recently, drumming up some attention from people whose interest might have been starting to wonder. The rest of the set from then seemed to pick up with the final song Hooligans, “We came / We saw / We killed the crowd”, really leaving a positive imprint on Example’s performance tonight.

Lily Allen takes to the stage blasting straight into Everybody’s At It, the first track of her most recent album It’s Not Me, It’s You. Followed by LDN, her first top 10 single and a massive crowd pleaser. I was never sure what to expect from Lily’s voice live but even after telling the crowd she has been ill with both bronchitis and laryngitis for the last six weeks, but I was blown away by how perfect and spot on her vocals were.

Songs such as Friday Night and newest single 22 were another two tracks that really stood out being something special live. She really seems in her element up on the stage, giggling along to herself and looking like she’s genuinely having a great time. Leaving the stage for a quick costume change, she comes back on doing a more chilled out acoustic section of her set covering The Kooks’ Naive.

The crowds were then treated to an unreleased track which I believe she said was called Car BullSh*t. Lily was apologising an awful lot though out the set as she struggles with her low notes from being ill but it really did not dampen her performance vocally.

Her cover of The Kaiser Chiefs’ Oh My God sounds superb live, followed by Smile, transforming into a heavy drum and bass version half way though. Continuing this theme Lily invites her good friend Professor Green on stage and they perform a drum and bass-style song together with samples from a Deborah Cox track, Just be Good to Me, before bringing the main part of the set to an end with The Fear, receiving the biggest sing along on the night.

Lily shortly appears back on stage for her encore wearing a blue sparkly leotard and a bright blue wig, kicking straight into a cover of Britney Spears’ Womaniser, before playing Fuck You and finishing off the night with one of her most recent singles Not Fair with a unique yet epic dance=style ending bringing one hell of a performance to a close. All in all a pretty special first night to the tour.

Dan Hase.

For photos of the show, click HERE.

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