Charli XCX @ HMV Next Big Thing, The Borderline 5 February 2010

Music is full of dichotomies. If only it was as simple as being ‘all about the music.’ In the past week I‟ve been reminded how muchAdd New more to the whole shebang there really is. Take Goldhawks on Tuesday night (3rd Feb) at Hoxton Bar & Grill – some alright tunes, bit of a Bono complex, but altogether tight – but lead singer Bobby Hawk’s flicking fringe for flick’s sake. Get a grade 2 man.

Or hearing Arctic Monkey’s cover of Love Machine…that is a tune. But not so much when Girls Aloud do it, obviously. Their glamour and commercialism mar the integrity of what might constitute a good song.

And tonight it‟s the turn of Charli XCX to feel the wrath of my dou-ble standards or confused opinions. Part of HMV‟s Next Big Thing line up, anyone who comes on stage, delivers one song, dressed in a leotard and two giant baby faces on her nipples, before storming off because ‘the beats aren’t right’ until coming on again with the same song, is likely to raise eyebrows. All around me ‘weird’, ‘mental’, ‘crazy’ and other such Roget’s thesaurus synonyms are being belted about.

The problem is, and it is a problem, because we don‟t want to like her, this twice performed track ‘Do It Well’ is actually rather good. And we can‟t help but respect her. Because as crazy as she is, isn‟t art all about being crazy…totally absorbing yourself in the moment, feeling the music, losing yourself in it. We all secretly harbour a desire to be brave enough to jump up in a meeting or school assembly, or throw some shapes on the stage, or really say what we think, and Charli XCX is doing this.

Yeah, she’s a precocious teenager, but maybe the fact we find this so irritating is because we’re too scared to do as she says and ‘Dance! Come on people, you‟re being boring! Be happy!’ she reminds us what we‟re missing out on.

Published by Francesca Baker

Passionate about music, the world, exploring, literature and smiling. Writing, marketing and events for all my favourite things.

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