GIG REVIEW: Robyn at Alexandra Palace

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE? Alexandra Palace

WHEN? 12/4, tour runs until 17/8

SETLIST: Send To Robin Immediately; Honey; Indestructible; Hang With Me; Beach 2k20; Ever Again; Be Mine; Because It’s In The Music; Love Is Free; Between The Lines; Dancing On My Own; Missing U; Call Your Girlfriend; Trust Me; Stars 4 Ever; With Every Heartbeat; Human Being; Who Do You Love?

Fellow blogger A Humdrum Mum makes clear exactly what sort of fan she is when she reviews a gig and, in tribute, we’d explain here that we think Robyn’s 2010 Body Talk is 1 of our favourite ever albums but that the 8-year wait for follow up Honey meant it could never live up to the heightened expectation.

  • Read on for reasons including whether the 8-year wait for the Honey Tour was worth it

We saw Robyn at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in 2010 on the Body Talk tour which boasted a near acapella version of enormo pop hit Show Me Love near its close and it was 1 of our favourite gigs of that year.

We saw her the following year on the same tour at larger venues including Camden Roundhouse and 02 Brixton Academy but neither show quite eclipsed the magic of seeing the diminutive Swede boss the more intimate venue.

It’s a monstagigz rule of thumb that it’s going to be a great gig if a Prince song is played shortly before the act takes the stage and so it proves here with a late appearance of Little Red Corvette.

Tonight she played the 1st of 2 sell-out shows at London’s 10,400-capacity Alexandra Palace, it was epic and she was very much the lovechild of Kate Bush and Prince. The stage is decorated in a riot of what looked like Andrex toilet tissue and for the 1st 2 songs our heroine is standing still, staring into the audience, appearing to challenge us to participate fully in what follows.

We know we’re in safe hands when pure pop gem Indestructible reminds us just how good the best of Body Talk is and, when tracks from Honey are included in what is almost like a live DJ set segueing 1 song into the next, it goes to show that there are some messier highlights there also.

Because It’s In The Music is just beautiful and the mash-up of one-off single Love Is Free with Between The Lines sees much exuberant dancing, with us standing about 10 rows from the front in a predominantly young female audience.

Every show should have a moment like this during biggest hit Dancing On Your Own when the music cuts out for the 1st chorus and the audience sing it raucously acapella, leaving us thinking in an age of FOMO that at this point in time – the night when the UK might have left the European Union – there was no place that we would rather have been than here.

It’s a trick she’s regularly pulling on this tour (see clip above) and it’s a great way to connect the star with her fans.

Elsewhere, there’s a single dancer in the show and Robyn matches his moves perfectly during many choreographed energetic moments which bring to mind a Madonna in her prime.

There’s great use of colour with the white backdrop highlighting the bright orange light to illuminate Honey and the blood red outfit she sports for the final section of the show.

At times Robyn’s performance verges on the theatric and the outstretched hand on stage she continuously returns to provides an interesting visual counterpoint.

At the close tonight we realise that the disappointment we felt that Honey wasn’t Body Talk was misplaced. They’re both outstanding – but for different reasons with the former being less focused but no less thrilling in its live incarnations.

Robyn is a unique pop star appearing to have little interest in repeating herself, let’s hope that also means that her next album doesn’t take quite so long to appear.

  • Picture by Teddy Fitzhugh via Facebook courtesy Robyn. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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