LDN’s darling Lily Allen returned to the capital’s stage as part of the Summer Series at Somerset House. As the sun was setting, Islington’s finest set about proving why she is a two million album seller and the complete pop star.
Allen strode onto stage and straight into LDN. The hallmark Lily outfit was this evening, a white and silver strapless dress with silver bow details and a splendid pair of black platform stilettos, all showing off her feminine curves to full advantage.
The shoes are soon given the push, but she quickly realises her little mistake in front of the photographers. “I should have maybe waited until you’d finished. Nobody needs to see my short and stumpy legs!” She tiptoes back and into Nan You’re A Window Shopper, freer to dance around the stage and interact with her audience.
She’s in playful and confident mood as she spots the people in the offices around the square and shouts “Look at all those who stayed behind at work, for a free gig! Cheapskates!” Everthing’s Just Wonderful gets dedicated to George Bush (ah, that old chestnut).
Next we were serenaded during the Littlest Things, a song which, more than the rest, shows how well Lily can sing. The mood changes to girly giggles with Not Big. The cursing still slightly shocks the mothers of the younger members of the audience, but you get what you see with Lily, and most of the audience don’t seem to notice.
Lynval Golding of The Specials is brought on stage as tonight’s special guest. Lily beams with pride and jokes “Lynval, how could you live in America?” as they duet on The Specials’ tracks Blank Expression and Gangsters. A style which truly complements Lily’s – her current sound is, after all, something of an update on theirs.
Lily looks bashful and giggles as she pulls on a guitar for B side to Littlest Things, Sunday Morning. Although a little self conscious of the guitar, she shows a slower and more soulful maturity. But she’s not about to pretend to be a guitar hero. “Next time I’ll have two chords, not just the one…”
We are reminded of the bully behind the brilliantly observed of Friend Of Mine: “She’s a crack head and I’m a pop star.’ All arms are aloft for biggest hit Smile which has a stunning vocal finish. Ending the set there would’ve left us on a high.
The encore has Golding shouting for us to show our gratitude for Miss Lily Allen as she admits that she is a tiny bit drunk now (not, it must be said, to any great surprise for seasoned Lily observers). Lily’s London tone ads a fresh twist to Blondie‘s Heart Of Glass. The Mark Ronson-produced cover of Kaiser Chiefs‘ Oh My God, a recent top three chart success, is wheeled out and copiously applauded, taking Lily’s breath away for a second. “Wow, that goes in our top five special moments.”
The night is completed with Alfie, as she calls out to her brother who may or may not still be around this evening and as ever sings with true affection for her sibling.
If rumours are true, and this is the last live performance until the new album release, then we have all been spoilt with a witty and sparkly performance this evening. We wait with confident expectation for Lily’s next album.