Alex Roots - Barfly London
2009 has been a great year for female fronted Pop with the likes of Lady Gaga, La Roux, The Saturdays and Pixie Lott dominating the charts. 2010 looks set to continue in this vein as there's a new bunch of gal singers set to usurp the current pop princesses, including Mini Viva, Paloma Faith and the subject of this review: Alex Roots.
Although only 16, Alex has already spent a couple of years putting together her forthcoming debut album and has performed numerous live shows, headlining and supporting the likes of Mcfly, Calvin Harris and Sugababes.
Miss Roots' performance at Camden's Barfly was her biggest headline gig to date and she managed to pull in a decent sized crowd for the event. The predominantly teenage audience seemed to be on good terms with Alex's musical output, even though she's yet to release her first album, helping to create a lively atmosphere throughout the performance.
Alex bounced on to the stage, announcing "This is wicked! We're all going to get really hot!", launching into set opener "Control", a high energy, shouty slice of pop fun that set the tone for the evening. "On My Knees" followed, with Alex mentioning that it felt crazy looking out and seeing people singing along to her songs.
Her musical output brings back memories of Kim Wilde blasting out "Kids in America" and also the more recent chart-friendly pop punk offerings of the likes of Avril Lavigne, Ashlee Simpson and Ashley Tisdale, creating a great selection of songs with memorable choruses, delivered with a seemingly limitless onstage energy. One of my favourite Roots tracks "Adrenaline Rush" appeared next. The song is fairly catchy throughout but delivers the best moments towards the end, as the pace of the chorus quickens leading to a frantic race to the song's culmination. "Give It Up" followed, with things slowing down a little bit for "It's All About Life", a track about people who like to have a good time!
The song that came next had me scratching my head as to what it reminded me of, finally realising that it's a distant cousin of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". The track is titled "Put Your Hands Up" and could do well as a potential single, however that privilege was reserved for the track that followed - "Don't Stop Looking".
DSL is released in September so will hopefully gain Miss Roots a few more fans as I'm sure the video will be all over the pop channels imminently. The set wound up with my highlight of the night which came in the shape of "Fake". The song is one of Alex's rowdier numbers, fueled by a frantic guitar riff, part Magazine's "Shot By Both Sides" / part Radiohead's "Just", with its highly infectious "Why o why o why o why o why?" chorus helping to bring the set to a glorious climax.
Alex took to the stage for her inevitable encore, rewarding the audience with an acoustic cover of the Jason Mraz song "I Am Yours" and final song of the night "Dizzy From The Ride".
I'm not sure when Alex's debut album is set to appear but it's certainly one to watch out for if the live renditions of the tracks are anything to go by.