Talia Kraines

12:21 4th June 2006

Friends of the Mighty Boosh, Robots in Disguise hit the capital tonight for one of their biggest headlining gigs to date. Young teenagers with copious makeup, low-cut tops and dyed hair form most of the queue outside, with many desperately on the phone to parents having been turned down with no ID. Meanwhile inside one of those same precocious teens takes to the stage herself as Betty Curse.

Former actress (the daughter out of 28 Days Later don’t’cha know), Megan Burns decided that she wanted to be a singer, and became a marketing man's dream.  Signed to Island Records, she’s become a gothy poster girl and on record doesn’t sound bad at all.  Live though, it’s a disappointing, lacklustre appearance with little effort put into her image or her sound and some major help coming from a backing tape. The girl needs to sort herself out quickly or she’ll be bottled beyond her wildest fears come Download.

Betty’s quickly followed by Nemo, a bizarre amalgamation of Busted and Clor, who almost instantly get the crowd on their side. Pleasant yet predictable, they were showered with admiration and performed a tight set. It would be great to hear them on record.

Robots in Disguise are after all what everyone has really come to see, and as the lights dim and the stage fills with smoke there’s an urgent sense of nervous anticipation.  Bouncing onto the stage, clad in silver outfits and caps, and shouting lots, there’s something about the look of Dee Plume and Sue Denim that makes us think of a bizarro world Alisha’s Attic. Musically, though they hover in the shouty type of electro pop Chicks on Speed and Le Tigre are most famous for.  Unlike CoS though, who manage to kill a great album with a live set, these girls vitalise the tracks from ‘Get Rid’ with fake xylophone and bad recorder playing, play fighting and adventurous stage diving.   ‘Turn It Up’, their next single is the power tool in their pack and transforms them from art school wannabes to a powerful electro force.  Name-checking songs from Bowie, Peaches and the Smiths in its lyrics, it’s a dark naggingly catchy track you’ll be singing in your sleep for weeks.