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Live Review: Lily Allen, July 25 @ The Hordern Pavilion

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on July 31, 2014

Words by Clancy Gibson

Lights, big bass, girls and bottles; baby bottles, that is!

It’s been a while since Lily Allen has set foot on Aussie soil. She’s spent the last four years out of the spotlight, bringing up a young family. Now, her latest album Sheezus is a strong reflection that Allen has really turned a new leaf. No longer are her lyrics about bad boyfriends and wild nights. Instead, she’s full of praise for her newly wholesome lifestyle of marriage and motherhood.

Kicking off the show at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion, hotpants wearing back up dancers bounced away as Allen came striding out in a fluorescent tight jumpsuit. Manoeuvring her way through the giant lit up baby bottles, she found her way to the front of the stage and faced a welcoming crowd.

Allen’s opening number and title track of her latest album, Sheezus blasted it’s way through the Hordern’s impressive sound system, introducing Sydney crowds to a brand new Lily Allen.

She may have matured, but she hasn’t lost her cheeky style or her bite. Following Sheezus was another chart climber from her new album, It’s hard for a bitch. Dancers pranced in, having swapped their caps for dog head masks and gave the crowd an eye opening twerk, with Allen joining in for a grind. With a big smile slapped across her face, she looked genuinely happy to be on stage.

Her presence was enchanting. Even when she was backstage and out of site, the crowd was  engaged. By the last bar of Everyone’s at it her unmistakable voice came booming over the sound system from backstage.  “Sorry, just a costume change. Is It Friday night, should we all go back for a party at my hotel room after this?”

I was thoroughly impressed and surprised by her interactions with the crowd. I feared I may have been in store for a totally different Lily Allen up on stage – having bitterly left the music industry years before, I expected a reluctant performer. Before raising a family, her turn away from the music industry was dramatically publicised after she expressed anger at fans illegally downloading her music, followed by the announcement that she had no plans to renew her contract with EMI.

Yet it appears that her four years away left Allen with a little musical FOMO. Having neglected her creative needs over this time, she seems more than happy to be back on tour. She’s looking unbelievably good – it’s making me question if she really did just have two babies!

Not surprisingly, the Sydney crowd was also glad to be reunited with the UK pop star. A shower of gifts was thrown on stage throughout the performance. “You guys are generous, you keep throwing shit at me,” She exclaimed between tracks, putting on the plaid shirt someone threw at her. She’s just being herself on stage, in the same way that her crude honesty comes out in her music. It makes her a very relatable musician, speaking up and saying the things in her lyrics that we’re all too scared to say ourselves..

Her talents don’t stop at her sharp words, though. She has no patience for poor quality, storming off stage mid song to get the sound just right. Despite fighting a cold, her musical abilities were not affected. After spraying down some ‘throat lubrication,’ a slow number really revealed her strength as a live performer, as she hit some seriously impressive high notes.

Between her talents, costumes, the lights and the dancers’ suggestive gyrations, all in all this was a highly entertaining show. While Sydney fans may have missed out on her closing set at  Splendour in the Grass, we  were treated to truly wonderful, fun show nonetheless..

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