Petite Meller is a newcomer to the pop scene who’s hard to pin down. Off-stage, she’s studying for a Master’s degree in philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and has previously described Sigmund Freud as one of her musical influences. Yet, on stage, she mixes Lolita-esque blushed cheeks and plaited hair with an array of dazzling costumes, and dances from start to finish with a childlike liveliness.
There’s something kitsch about it, and it’s a little surprising to find that the French singer is signed to a major label. By being marketed as a popstar, but without an overtly conventional sex appeal, her set seems less like bland pop built on a marketable image and more, well, fun. And Petite seems to think so too.
Throughout her set, she’s full of a relentless energy. Her stage routine is part choreographed dance routine, part freestyle, complete with two costume changes - and she’s drawn an impressive crowd for an artist yet to release an album.
The French singer’s ‘Baby Love’ was a feel-good sound of the summer, and when its ecstatically addictive chorus booms out this evening, it starts a wave of dancing that you can’t help joining in with. For her latest single ‘Barbaric’, she is accompanied by backing dancers of an unusual kind - a group of pensioners wearing neon who join her in a hilarious, impromptu dance off.
The whole set is certainly quirky and - aside from the fact that the show’s computerised backing vocals often deafen Petite’s own vocals (her voice seems strong enough not to need such production) - it’s a feel-good show all around.
The set shows a promising start, with Petite’s sleek jazz-pop sound signalling good things for the coming months. If her debut album can live up to her shows, she shouldn’t be too worried about the future at all.