Lily Allen

Lily Allen @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall.  7th March 2007

Lily Allen.


Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
Wolverhampton.  UK.
7th March 2007.

Like her or not, Lily Allen is certainly in your face.  The recent Brit awards ceremony was branded a farce as Lily walked away empty-handed, having been tipped to scoop all four of the categories in which she was nominated.   The Press love her, particularly her habit of slogging off other celebrities. (Radio 1’s Chris Moyles is “self obsessed” and Bob Geldof is apparently a “c**t” and a “sanctimonious prat”.)  Add to that her prolific tour schedule and live TV appearances and you can see how it would be difficult to ignore her.  Having been distinctly impressed with her live appearance on the Jools Holland show I bit the bullet and booked my spot at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

I’m a bit of an old cynic when it comes to gigs and I’m not easily entertained.  As I walked into the Civic and made my way to the bar I was wondering what I had let myself in for.  Trendy pop artists aren’t really my bag and a two-hour drive from my boat to the venue had done nothing for my mood.  By the time I was halfway down my pint the auditorium was heaving with 16-year-olds who looked like they had raided Bananarama’s wardrobe.  Just then the lights dimmed, the PA went quiet and the crowd erupted!  And I mean, these kids went WILD!  Screaming at the top of their voices “LIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYY”

Lily struts on stage looking far too confident and sexy for a girl of her age.  Wearing a white 50’s dress and making doe eyes at the audience, you wouldn’t believe this was the same foul-mouthed Mockney depicted in the press.

Without a word of introduction the band start up and she launches into “LDN“.  The crowd screamed along at the top of their voices and the first four rows held up their phones to take pictures.  They were really enjoying themselves….and so was I!  It was like going back 20 years to those days when just getting out to a gig was exciting!  When you were thrilled to be in the same room as your heroes!  Indeed, she was a few tracks into her set before I remembered I was supposed to be taking notes and photos.  I was loving it.

I think the gig was a great demonstration of a well-managed first album tour.  She played the hits with the enthusiasm you would expect of someone who has been thrust into the spotlight so quickly.  (Good old my-space!)  She pumped out almost every track from the album (I know, I checked them off as we drove home with the CD in the car.) and the crowd sang-along-a-Lily with gusto.  Her band was slick and tight, the scripted banter was funny and risqué; the backing track carried her but couldn’t be accused of being a lip sync exercise.  Normally these ingredients hide a lack of talent, but that’s not something Lily is short of.

With only one album to her name an artist has to either rely on new material or cover songs.  Lily plumped out her set with both, the highlight of which was her rendition of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.”  I think she really pulled it off which is quite saying something.  Debbie Harry is a hard act to follow.  “Sunday Morning” was a new track very much in the Lily Allen mould and went down well.   The Special’s “Blank Expression” was received with some bemusement by the majority of the crowd, but delighted the old rockers amongst us.  I was never particularly impressed with the Kaiser Cheifs original “Oh My God” so it’s not surprising that Lily’s version didn’t blow my skirt up much either.  The kids enjoyed themselves though and that’s all that counts really, isn’t it. *

(*Note to readers.  This is the exact moment that I realised I have turned into my father.)

One of the other highlights of the night was hooking up with sisters Bianca and Cherry who were there to cover the gig for Fused magazine in the UK. This pair of seasoned rock chicks could well be contributing to Club Kingsnake in the weeks to come so watch this space!  In the meantime, I’ll say a quick thanks to Bianca for providing these photos.

Set List

Window Shopper
Shame For You
Everything’s Just Wonderful
The Littlest Things
Not Big
Sunday Morning
Heart of Glass
Friend or Foe
Knock em Out
Oh My God
Blank Expression



~ by Tony's Desk on March 24, 2008.

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