Here comes the summer star.
When it comes to female singing talent, the hype and hyperbole can distort reality so much that you forget if there was anything worth liking in the first place. When you add this to the Machiavellian tricks played by record companies and PR firms to make news stories out of nothing, it makes you cynical and very quick to denounce what may be the next big thing as a pile of rubbish. However, now is not the time to be discussing the (lack of) merits in Susan Boyle, not when the dust is settling on another tremendous show by Little Boots. The young singer may not have made it as far down the reality TV show as some of the illustrious characters in the news these days but give the girl a tambourine and her trusty tenori-on and you will find a dictionary definition of the X Factor because Britain, Little Boots got talent!
There is no doubt that the internet has played a large role in the success so far of Little Boots (alongside the sterling work of her PR company) and this was highlighted as early as the opening song of the night, 'Every Little Earthquake'. The track is still to be given an official release but home made video versions have cropped up on Youtube, allowing the fans to sing along from the start, which isn't too bad for a pop starlet yet to launch her album. Of course, anyone could use the internet to get attention but it requires songs and personality to drive home the benefit offered by the internet and there are no complaints about the material on offer. People are quick to state that acts like Boots and the Arctic Monkeys only reached the levels they have done because of the internet but these folk are missing the point and overlooking the fact that millions of other acts have the same potential to use the internet but just don't have the songs to grab the interest in any meaningful way.
Being able to throw in new single 'New In Town' as early as the third song of the evening indicates the strength in depth of songwriting on show and the set contained a number of tracks already deemed fan favourite and a couple of new ones that bode well for the new record. 'Click' was a song that was new to this writer but it blended in effortlessly with the rest of the material, showcasing a slightly darker side of the electro pop that made up the evenings entertainment. Previous single 'Mathematics' and long-time smash 'Stuck On Repeat' were probably the two tracks that were received the best but there was genuinely not a bad song throughout the set. The cover of 'Love Kills' still maybe stands apart from the rest of the material, in the fact that it is not as good or as immediate, indicating an already established style of songwriting but some of the newer tracks showed a more romantic and lush 80s vibe alongside the more straightforward pop hits.
The gig may have been in Tuts, one of the homes of Glasgow indie cool but there is no doubt that Little Boots is unashamedly pop and that isn't a bad thing when its done so well and when the singer appears so grounded and charming, you find yourself rooting for her even more. This was brought home near the end of the gig when the Boots took a pair of retro (and cheap looking) plastic sunglasses from a crowd member, placed them on herself and likened herself to Lady Gaga. They may both be filling column inches and airwaves at the moment but the difference in class and style couldn't be more apparent. Gaga is quite simply vulgar in all manners of the word, whereas Victoria Hesketh appears to be a classier sort of act, carrying herself in a manner that draws the comparison to Kylie Minogue much in the way that Gaga's crudeness will see her likened to Madonna. So there you go, still a few weeks away from an album release and comparisons to the Aussie pop wonder, not bad for a humble lass from Blackpool.
That would be underselling Little Boots by a great deal though as she looks every inch the star in the making (and yes, she may be lacking the feet and inches but sometimes you don't need height to get your point across). With so many people tipping the act for big things this year, it was inevitable that people would be lining up to take potshots whilst waiting for her to fail. We're nearly halfway through the year and there appears to be no sign of her stopping and with 'Hands' being released in June, the second half of 2009 is likely to be even busier and more successful than the first half. On this form, she will absolutely destroy the summer festivals so you may as well get with the program ahead of the game, this summer belongs to Little Boots and everyone’s the winner.