Charli XCX sold out the Village Underground in minutes when she announced she was bringing the Pop 2 show to the UK for the first time ever.
Her dedicated audience – including myself who’s followed her since the MySpace days – snapped up tickets to see one of the best popstars around and the bass rattling, rip roaring pop show does not disappoint.
She herself says to the crowd ‘I may not be the biggest but I’m definitely one of the best’ and it’s true, despite producing two incredible mixtapes over the past year and collaborating with a who’s who in cool pop music she’s struggled to breakthrough into radio play.
But that doesn’t matter to her audience, a mostly LGBTQ+ crowd who show up tonight like mainstream audiences showing up for another boring male rapper but with much more glitter, mesh, and free spirit.
Her underground cult status is even more apparent when she’s joined by drag queens and club kids on the stage for Boys, who are looking out from the stage at audience full of people like themselves, for popstars who want to show up and be a true ally should look to Charli on how to do it right.
The past couple of months she’s been supporting fellow pop titan and friend Taylor Swift on her stadium tour, which sees her play the chart toppers I Love It and Fancy. But at her headline show she brings what she does best for a hometown show.
Her own audience are treated to singles 5 In The Morning and Boys alongside mixtape tracks Dreamer, Lipgloss and I Got It as well as unreleased tracks Taxi and No Angel and doesn’t struggle to get the crowd to join in – ‘I thought this song was f*****g big in Germany’ – anyone?
Plus she brings out collaborators Hannah Diamond, RAYE, Tommy Cash, Dorian Electra, Rina Sawayama and SOPHIE throughout who all have their own time to shine. She showcases the sense of genuine community she’s been creating with fellow artists and her listeners, the Angels.
She finishes on unreleased track Girls Night Out, and normally it’d be strange for an artist to finish a set with an ‘unknown’ track. But after it leaked online last year it’s become a fan favourite.
The club ready, dance banger is a perfect pop hit and she knows it as she screams at the crowd ‘everyone at my f*****g record label please release this song!’.
The high energy from Charli and the crowd throughout the show creates such a moment between artist and fan which is often rare and it makes for an unforgettable, sweaty, loud and pop show.
Here’s to the sequel to Pop 2!
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