Livin' La Vida Koko - Alice Russell @ Koko PDF Print E-mail
Gigs - 2009 Gigs
Written by Mojo Wellington   

As a reunion of glam rock legends was taking place in an equally legendary west London venue (Mott the Hoople at the Hammersmith Apollo), Alice Russell brought glamour and showmanship to the spectacular setting (internally at least) that is Koko in Camden.

With the band all dressed in white, set against a shimmering silver backdrop, for a minute I thought I was watching the house band on Loveboat: The Next Wave.  A backing singer wearing trousers that even MC Hammer would have been ashamed to wear, didn’t exactly help matters.  And when the star of the show came on stage in a sparkly green dress with pink tights, I half-expected her to announce, “I’m Jane McDonald off the telly!”

But thankfully that is where the comparisons to both questionable moments of TV history, ends.  A wonderfully choreographed show, both musically and visually, in which the band were water tight (no Loveboat pun intended) and the dance moves were equally slick.  Running on the spot, robot dances, lying on the floor... there was nothing this enormous band couldn’t do (except for MC Hammer who seemed to show as much coordination as a shopping trolley dancing like a dad at a wedding reception.  Bless.  At least she could sing in tune).

Unfortunately, sheer ignorance of Russell’s back catalogue on my part, coupled with awkward acoustics that made it difficult to pick out any vocal introduction or song lyrics, meant that I really couldn’t say much about what she played and didn’t play.  I know the band riffed on Michael Jackson’s "Wanna Be Starting Somethin'" (who DOESN’T play MJ at the moment!?), in order to facilitate a dubious costume change by Russell.  They also played White Stripes’ "Seven Nation Army", in which the drummer exhibited the kind of flair Meg White could only dream of (he hit the ride cymbal – good God!).  Other than that, I really don’t know what was on the set list, just that I liked it and any artist that gets the entire band (11 including Russell) to don white headbands without even a sniff off a reference to a well-known advertising campaign, is all right with me.


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