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La Roux Shine @ Guvernment

October 26th, 2009


It was a dark and dismal night this past Friday – the kind where once you’re home you’re done. I only had eyes for my bed and bad TV but despite the comfort looming in front of me, I donned my wellies, busted out my brelly and made the trek down to Toronto’s dismal waterfront. After battling with rain that was magically coming down sideways (how does that happen anyway?) me and about 600 other daring souls had made it to the La Roux show.

It was like a little ray of elfish sunshine when La Roux took the stage. Lead singer Elly Jackson’s too-shiny gold lamee shirt, Travelocity-Gnome hair and bouncy performance instantly brought the crowd up from their soggy trance. The 4 piece electro-synth-pop band kept the crowd jumping and swooning song after song, all from their self-titled debut album. They were so tight it was like we were all flies on a wall at a studio session. The sound was amazing (especially given that it was at the notoriously terrible sounding Guvernment) and the energy from stage to floor was humming. There were honestly enough hipsters in the mostly under 25 crowd that the streets of Queen West must have been barren and the neck-scarf shelves of H&M must have been empty. But skinny jeans be damned, this crowd was not above dancing and singing and screaming, and by the end, everyone was grooving.

From open to close (which BTW was big hit “Bulletproof” – a #1 on the UK charts) La Roux channeled everything from Madonna to Duran Duran to Soft Cell to Culture Club to Annie Lennox to The Knife. The set was cut short due to Elly being quite sick (they cancelled 5 shows prior) but despite it all, she proved herself to be one fabulously talented leading lady. She may look like the love-child of Tilda Swinton and Clay Aiken (ewwwwwww), but her sound and genuine demeanor has the potential staying power of a star.

Hopefully the hype La Roux’s been riding will see them through to even greater success on both sides of the pond as you can never have enough bubblegummy-goodness to clear up the blahs.

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