Robyn played Shoreditch’s XOYO club last night in a “secret” gig which gave fans a chance to see her in a slightly more intimate setting than her recent UK mini-tour. Despite keeping ticket winners waiting half an hour in the sweaty basement club, when she finally did appear Robyn gave a performance full of energy, passion and love for her UK fans.
“We’re Body Talking, London”, and indeed the majority of the set was made up of big hitters from parts 1 and 2 of the singer’s trio of mini-albums, the last of which comes out later this month. Opening with ‘Fembots’, the first track to leak from the campaign the set continued through ‘Cry When You Get Older’ and ‘Include Me Out’, before Robyn unleashed the upbeat version of previously-acoustic track ‘Indestructible’ (the final single from the Body Talk opus) to the hungry crowd.
The audience also seemed happy to allow a…dominant vocal backing track on certain songs that could have put Cheryl Cole’s or One Direction’s to shame. Given the movement in Robyn’s performance – all air-pumps, running on the spot and body-popping – such backing was a necessary evil, and permitted the beautiful harmonies with her own voice that the meticulous production on ‘Robyn’ and ‘Body Talk’ allowed.
Other high points included a broken-down solo version of her duet with Snoop Dogg, ‘U Should Know Better’ (a rarity at live shows for obvious reasons, not least immigration) and the beautiful ‘Dancing On My Own’ (“I just came to say goodbye” remains one of the saddest and most poignantly-placed pop lyrics of 2010). The low came with a discordant, jarring take on ‘Be Mine’ with which she has persevered at most live shows this year.
Overall this 90-minute set (closed with the beautiful strings and synths combining on ‘With Every Heartbeat’) was a triumph. Every big song from her noughties albums was present and correct, and the performance contained all the energy, sweat and rhythm of a Scandinavian workout video. Nice one Robyn. You gave it some welly.