Thursday 13 December 2012

Dragonette, A*M*E and Little Nicki at Cargo - 12 December 2012


It’s a freezing night. Better to be at a nice warm gig than to wander the streets.

Fortunately, I’m in here, locked in the tender embrace of the ‘Popjustice Christmas Piss Up”. Popjustice celebrate the jollier end of the musical spectrum and DJ Bright Light Bright Light is playing a solid selection of chart hits. I bop around a bit to Girls Aloud ‘Biology’.

First on is Little Nicki, a veritable SuperBall of energy who bounces around the stage singing, rapping and performing complex dance manoeuvres with a loose-limbed male dancer.  She is clad in a tight top emblazoned with Batman logos. It’s a good look.

Music is provided by a DJ in a booth behind the cavorting Nicki and he occasionally contributes with a “What Up? “ or “Yeah!” as the situation demands. The tunes are catchy, the beats infectious and Nicki talented and easy on the eye. An excellent start to the evening.

A*M*E* is a comparatively subdued performer, but a gutsy one. She stands alone on the stage and belts out half a dozen upbeat pop numbers, including new single ‘Play the Game Boy’. She goes down well with the crowd (and me) but there is a tiny whiff of anger within her and it’s possible that she rather resents the rush to get her set over so that the main act can begin.

It’s more than five years since I last saw Dragonette. For many years they were based in London but they eventually decamped back to their native Canada.

Currently a three piece, Dragonette are a formidable pop machine fronted by the powerful pipes of Martina Sorbara. The band is delighted to be here and this joy radiates from them like a beam of light throughout the rest of the evening.

It’s straight into the hits, a triple whammy of ‘I Get Around’, ‘Riot’ and ‘Live In This City’. It’s gloriously uplifting hands-in-the-air stuff and the crowd is dancing and jumping so hard that they are practically levitating.

The band have made a huge impact around the world in the last few years by providing Martin Solveig with the vocals and sample for the global chart smash ‘Hello’. When Dragonette play this track and segue it into their own tune ‘Let It Go’ the room practically combusts with happiness.

Keeping things seasonal, the band deliver their Christmas track ‘Happy Xmas (Says Your Text Message)’ before asking for audience collusion as they shoot part of the video for forthcoming single ‘Run Run Run’. This involves Martina singing the song backwards (no mean feat) and performing with her back to us. The crowd play their part well and go suitably bonkers behind her.

It’s been a terrific night. Merry Christmas to one and all and remember…there ain’t no justice like Popjustice!

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