Festival Hall, January 28, 2010
After her jaunt at this year’s Big Day Out, Lily Allen dropped by Festival Hall, sans the Australian flag she wore along with the usual suspects at the Showgrounds days earlier.
She was joined by a throng of middle-aged women, already teetering on the cusp of intoxication when they arrived via a fleet of double-decker buses, no doubt a ride coming at unreasonable expense and arranged by some entrepreneurial individual. This is probably the same individual that gave these women the Lily Allen ‘V.I.P.’ lanyards which they wore around their necks, and led them to believe that these entitled bearers to some kind of special privilege. Most were glad just to get inside, but a few argued that they had paid extra money for these passes, and seemed confused when I said that the ‘extra money’ they had paid had not gone to official channels. Nevertheless, they were dispersed into the stadium easily, and most only returned to express their confusion when Miami Horror took to the stage, having never heard of the phenomena of a support band, and later to state how discriminatory the venue’s ‘No Smoking’ policy is.
I’m not a huge Lily Allen fan, but I thought her album of last year, It’s Not Me, It’s You was a pop gem. I’d expected an entertaining show, but the performance Lily gave went beyond my expectations. True, it was a short set, but she played all the hits, and a few unexpected covers. She looked diminutive on stage, even while bringing back the Baby Spice-style platform sports shoes, and her two costume changes were brief and didn’t interrupt the show too much. A weird, rap interlude during Smile by someone Lily introduced as her best friend, on the other hand, just seemed to confuse everyone.
From my vantage point to the rear of the stage, I’d noticed a small screen at the foot of the stage, and at first didn’t pay too much attention to it. As the show progressed, I noticed that this screen was busy with text, and when I stepped closer, noticed that it was displaying the lyrics to all of the songs, scrolling on the screen, karaoke-style. I smiled to myself, surprised, but not disappointed. It was something I hadn’t seen before, and it was clearly present just in case of a lyrical emergency. I didn’t notice Lily look at the screen during the course of the performance. I did, however, make the mistake of pointing it out to another staff member, who instantly dismissed Lily Allen as ‘pathetic.’
‘But,’ he pointed out, when Lily broke into a cover of Britney’s Womanizer. ‘At least she really sings.’