Meet Kimbra, the NEXT BIG THING
Can you remember the days when Gaga was described as that?
Nice photo, non? This rising New Zealand singer recently lent her vocals to Gotye’s sleeper hit Somebody I Used to Know and her booty to the music video (it’s heavy-on-the-body-paint, light-on-the-clothes sort of stuff), and the world’s since gone a bit bonkers for it. It’s the biggest hit in Poland. Ever. So, when we were invited to go and see Kimbra at an intimate showcase in London's trendy Portobello Road (with her clothes on), we jumped at the chance. And it was worth it just to look at her: a girl who from the neck up looks like Bettie Page (her fringe would make East London proud) and from the neck down was wearing galaxy print spandex leggings and ghetto jewellery. We doubt Jessie J's so keen on Kimbra's look though...
We listened to stripped down versions of four of her songs. Her guitar made a fleeting presence but the real star of the show was the humble (yeah, not so much), iPad that she used as an instrument, making most of us in the audience feel like right fossils. The upside was an electronic sound that didn’t lack the thickness or richness of a full band. There were a few technological mishaps and the occasional false start but more importantly she was pretty much pitch perfect. Settle Down from her debut album Vows was throaty and feisty but still very sweet. This is shouty girl music but with heart. Finally she sang a gospel song, Come Let Us Go Back to God. I’ll be worshipping at the chapel of Apple after this – who needs a choir when you have this kind of technology? It was unmistakeably gospel but like you’ve never heard it before.
We've got a good feeling about this one, and just had to check her out; just as we did the woman who rocked G-A-Y many moons ago donning a Blue Peter-esque disco stick and a dodgy wig (granted, Gaga was already number one at the time with Just Dance, so any of us present at her first ever UK gig weren't being THAT instinctive). YOU'RE WELCOME.
Words: Clare Pennington
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