Lily's More Than Alright, Still
Whether you're a huge Lily fan or one of her detractors just dragged along for the company, there's no denying that she made this Apollo gig a night to remember.
Bounding onto the stage with her trademark ebullience and cheeky smile, she lost no time in admitting that she was already 'a bit pissed' having got a 'a little bit enthusiastic with the Jaegermeister' as she'd been a bit nervous about coming back to play her home town.
Opening with the summer-filled reggae sounds of 'LDN' to immense crowd approval, she was completely at ease on the stage and chatted away endearingly to the crowd, disarmingly gauche, at one point spilling her drink down her dress: 'now it looks like I've pissed myself'.
Her effortless banter with the crowd was as much a high point of the evening as were her bouncy, clever, fun-filled tunes, which were not marred at all by her having had a few too many. She demonstrated her marvellous, honest 'don't give a shit' attitude as she mouthed off at all and sundry, branding politicians 'wankers' and a certain someone else a 'c**t' and told fashion editors and Heat magazine to 'f**k off', much to the delight of the (majority of the) crowd.
Segueing seamlessly from one top tune to another, including the hit 'Smile' and the beautifully melancholic 'Littlest Things', the only down points of the evening were two of her newer songs: 'Sunday Morning' and 'Absolutely Nothing'. She herself admitted that she swiftly removed the latter from her MySpace page as it wasn't that great. Much as it would be nice to contradict that, it really wasn't that good. Both of the songs lacked the cheeky, bouncy playfulness that lift Allen's songs high above the pop dross.
The rest of the set, however, apart from an upbeat Blondie cover, comprised of well-loved songs from her album, with highlights being 'Not Big', a delicious jab at the, erm, underendowed men she has known in her life and 'Everything's just Wonderful'.
It is a rare thing at a London gig to see so many smiling faces of all ages, and surprisingly few tweenies, and no elbowing going on, just plenty of enthusiastic bopping. Whatever you think of her music, there's no denying the girl's got something and she certainly knows how to work a crowd.