We went along to London’s legendary Popshow showcase at Soho’s Madame Jo Jo’s, where we met the good, the bad and the ugly in new pop talent. And Same Difference.

David Swinburn

First to take the stage in the ‘intimate’ (read: super-cramped) surroundings of Jo Jo’s, was the group hailed as the next Ace Of Base. We’re still quite happy with the originals, but Waterloo proved to be a welcome addition with their hook-filled reggae pop and cute male backing singers. One was a well-built Lee Latchford-Evans-type, whose talents seemed to extend no further than looking good and tinkering with a keyboard every so often, while the other was a bowler-hat-wearing gentleman with an insanely cheeky grin and some equally delightful dance moves. But the true star of the group was front-woman Suzanne, who reminded us a little of current Sugababe Jade Ewen, but with a bucket load more guts.

Already attracting a lot of attention from the major labels, Waterloo have the potential to be massive, and with straight-up pop making a big comeback, we think they might just do it. One act who definitely won’t be ‘doing it’ (unless ‘it’ is rehashing every pop tune that bothered the charts in the past year), is the awful Electric Princess. Parading onto the stage as though Lady Gaga had never happened, this desperate diva lacked the songs and style to pull off the madness of Gaga, and instead gave us the first trainwreck of the night. Another lowlight was sour-faced Penny, who looked and sounded like a poor man’s Fergie - in a sparkly sequinn dress. The whole package was ridicilously odd, and that trend continued throughout the night, from 90’s throwback girl band Trilogy Bliss (who included a cover of a little known Clea track in their set) to poor man’s Pussycat Dolls Candy Rock, who launched into predictable ditties about their sweet candy and cherry pie. Someone shoot me now.

Fortunately, it wasn’t all bad. X-Factor legends Same Difference hosted the event, and even treated us to a performance of a new PopJustice-approved track, Sold Out - which was a bonafide piece of pop perfection. We spoke to the lovely Sarah and Sean after the show, and we can confirm that they’re neither annoying nor done with music. But whilst their new track was a definate highlight of the night, there were a few more noteworthy acts on the actual bill.

The lovely Elouise, who we told you about last week, stole the show with a fantastic version of the Three Degrees’ The Runner before belting out original track Pretender - a self-penned number that already sounds like a much-loved classic. Tucked away near the back-end of the night, the down to earth diva took it in her stride and managed to wake up the poor crowd who had been subjected to some of the dullest pop acts since last Saturday’s X-Factor.

So whilst the evening was hardly jam-packed with talent, at least the bad acts were so bad they were entertaining. Who could refuse to raise a smile at the sight of such acts as the ill-conceived dance duo Untouched, which comprised of an average looking bloke on a keyboard, and a pretty blonde girl in a Christmas-decoration-dress who looked like she’d wandered on to the stage by accident?

Not us, evidently. Ah well, beats another night sat at home watching re-runs of Emmerdale!

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