At indigO2 London
Turns out, the O2’s little sister venue is the perfect home for a Cher Lloyd concert. While Malvern’s finest lacks the fan base to fill the next-door arena (she could probably fill it with haterzzz ten times over), both her popularity and petite stature perfectly suit indigO2. The 2,500-ish capacity is tiny, but it’s still a suave and glossy launching pad, boasting obvious clout with big-name branding. And Cher, with her undeniable confidence, made the absolute most of it. And the crowd really did go crazy for her. A crowd, FYI, comprised of sprightly young baby gays and their fag hags among a sea of tween girls (all made up to the nines and looking about 40). Bored parents were, of course, relegated to the back.
Cher’s younger fans and their level of hysteria proved something of a barometer for the show’s successes and failures. Things got off to a slightly bizarre start with an aggressively delivered rendition of Dub on the Track, a song which producer and alleged authority on the subject Skream labeled the "worst attempt at a commercial Dubstep track so far." When Cher emerged to its piercing, nightclubbish beats, spitting lyrics like “Work hard, party harder”, most of the little girls’ excitement seemed fettered. In fact, we’d go as far as to say they looked terrified and confused. Considering Cher’s cock-legged dancing and the song’s overwhelmingly harsh tonality, so were we, frankly.
The atmosphere was altogether more charming when Cher was acing her way through poppier efforts (Grow Up, Want U Back, With Ur Love), showcasing some surprisingly fantastic vocals and a stage presence that obscured the slow off the mark dancers she was flanked by. She OWNED Swagger Jagger; still an effing awful song but evidently one she’s proud of, and can you blame her? Love it or hate it, we’d hedge a bet that like Cher’s cute/terrifying tween army you know to all the words to those banal, rapid-fire raps. She’s still courting people’s interest, and despite teetering on the edge of career destruction a couple of times over the last year, she looks likely to sail on to a (hopefully better fitting) second album. But first, she really needs to decide what age group she's trying to communicate with.
The obligatory ‘cover versions section’ exposed Cher’s greatest vulnerability at present; that being, a distinct lack of hits. Acoustic re-workings of Usher’s OMG and Avril’s Complicated were pleasant and once again underlined Cher’s strong projection, but contradict her efforts to move beyond her X Factor beginnings. If she insists on going down the covers route, Stay and Put My Swag On would’ve been wiser; she might not have liked it, but the audience would've.
IndigO2, O2, Greenwich, London.
Download Cher's album here
Words: Jamie Tabberer
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