Live Review
Old Street, London

Photography by Elinor Jones

Claire Boucher is, by all definitions, a modern day polymath. With her expertise ranging from videographer to painter, she is the quintessential all-encompassing artist. Tonight she calls into London on her European tour, where excitement around the Canadian-born star – aided by magazine covers and TV appearances – has meant the show is well oversubscribed. Walking on stage, dressed in bumblebee apparel, flanked by two greased backing dancers, Grimes politely orders the lights to be turned down before launching into ‘Infinite Love Without Fulfilment’, the intro from her debut 4AD release, ‘Visions’. What follows is an extraordinary 50-minute cocktail, one part electro-pop and three parts rave. The conclusion? An admittance that the hype machine is fully justified in its stratospheric predictions.

Firing through ‘Vanessa’, ‘Circumambient’ and ‘Be a Body’, the pace approaches climax, while the two shakers behind her flail in time to the beat of their own respective drums. It reaches a heady orgasm when ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Genesis’ are played back-to-back and two other male dancers enter the stage; now an orgy of electro and limbs. This is Montreal’s answer to Kylie Minogue, and East London loves it. Tonight is undoubtedly a triumph for Grimes – and for the packed out XOYO – all of which have no doubt that there is plenty more to come.

By Samuel Ballard

Originally published in issue 38 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2012