Little Boots keeps throwing these elaborate release parties for not-quite-singles, but hey, if they’re as good as Friday night’s gig in XOYO, we’re not complaining.
Last December we partied in an East London rave dome to celebrate the release of "Shake", the first new Boots song in yonks. Well, we say ‘release’: it was plonked on the internet as a buzz single. A shame in a way, as it’s an absolute corker and it’s bound to go down in history as the second great Boots song never to be released in a radio-friendly format (ask Victoria Hesketh whether "Stuck On Repeat" will ever come out as a proper single and watch her explode). Still, it was a hell of party, as evidenced here.
So on to Friday night, a gig to coincide with the release of another new tune. This one’s called "Every Night I Say Prayer" and it’s a piano-house-tastic little ditty produced by the sex that is Hercules and Love Affair’s Andy Butler (Victoria’s words, but we concur). It was released as a vinyl-only affair for Record Store Day and a free Soundcloud download so, once more, it’s obviously not aimed at the charts but — again — we were just happy to be getting a great night out of it.
Young Nottingham singer Ronika (who looks like Alison Goldfrapp by way of Morgana Robinson) opened proceedings with a set of tunes that should be in quarantine for being too damn catchy, with new song "One Thousand Nights" a particular highlight. One to keep a firm eye on. Then we were on to Little Boots herself, who was clearly having a ball on her birthday. Her short but sweet set managed to remind us of the greatness of her debut album and set things up nicely for her sophomore effort.
Highlights from the new songs were "Motorway", which reminded us of Saint Etienne’s "Pale Movie" – a good thing – and "Crescendo", with its early nineties indie shuffle groove, while "Headphones" was a little too keen on trying to establish a la-la-la moment to rival Kylie’s "Can’t Get You Out Of My Head", but not quite succeeding. The guys voguing slightly half-heartedly in the video for "Every Night I Say Prayer" walked on stage from the crowd to do the same here and, as an encore, Victoria came back for a rousing rendition of "Shake". We could have stayed to party some more in the bar upstairs, but a DJ playing endless slow jams he lip-synched-for-his life to killed our buzz somewhat, so we went to find beats elsewhere.
Still, the whole night left us looking forward to a second album still shrouded in much mystery. You get the feeling label 679 only ever really focus on one artist at a time and that appears to be Marina & the Diamonds at the minute. Still, who knows: perhaps Little Boots really has seen into the future, and no matter what happens next, we want her to take us there (again - sort of her words, but we concur).
By Dennis Keesmaat