Live review: Lorde at Madame Jojo’s

When I first became a fan of Lorde back in April, after spotting Royals in the New Zealand singles chart, I didn’t expect to get the chance to see her live any time soon, unless I went on a surprise holiday to the other side of the world. I certainly didn’t expect to see her at a gig that sold out in just 4 minutes.

I am a fan of quirky girl pop stars but I knew straight away from listening to her EP The Love Club that Lorde was a cut above the rest. She’s not just kooky and alternative, but also current and relevant to a teenage audience thanks to her lyrics about school cliques and parties, and the urban beats in her music. It also helps that she is a teenager herself.

When people go on about Lorde being 16, I remember the annoyingly incessant reminders of Ella Henderson’s age during The X Factor 2012, but in this case it really is remarkable. How can she be such a fully-formed artist and intelligent lyricist at an age when most kids don’t even know who they are as a human, let alone as a performer and public figure?

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In person, Lorde could be 16 or 26. She is slightly introverted on stage, but that’s all part of her awkward persona. She is a pale, gangly figure with big hair, and wearing a long, black gothic dress she resembled a Tim Burton character. Her voice sounded exactly as it does on record, and her vocals were effortless.

However, the show as a whole wasn’t without its flaws. The songs were inconsistent, and none of the new tracks impressed me as much as those I already knew (which were Royals, Bravado, Tennis Court and The Love Club). However, some of them had potential to be growers, so I’m looking forward to hearing them again on her forthcoming album.

I also wonder if she is in danger of becoming a one trick pony. Her unusual artist persona is fascinating now as it’s so unlike the typical teen pop star, but it could grow old quickly as there was little variety in the way she performed. She will need to find ways to give her different songs more distinct identities to make her live show more engaging and to keep surprising her fans with new sides to herself, which I believe she can do.

Not many artists could put on such an accomplished performance for their first London show, especially to an intimate crowd packed with industry tastemakers. I hope she doesn’t lose that teenage fearlessness and that it shows in her career decisions as she develops as an artist. I can’t wait to see the world catch on to her brilliance, even if it means I’ll never get to see her in such a small venue again!

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