'Christine skulks, then leaps across the stage as the music swells beneath her'
Alexandra Pollard
13:44 16th March 2016

Christine & The Queen's spiritual connection to London is, by this point, a well-trodden tale. It involves a heartbreak, a trip to the ill-fated Madame Jojo's, and a group of kindly drag queens. Tonight though, it's her connection to her native France that seems to be deepening.

It seems, in fact, that the entire French population of London has descended upon KOKO's many storeys. Though Christine sticks in earnest to the English-language versions of Chaleur Humaine - the stunning debut album recently released, in a newly refurbished incarnation, in the UK - the fans drown her out, providing an affectionately insistent echo in her mother tongue.

She is, after all, one of the most precious new musical exports of a country suffering something of an identity crisis. So when she sings, during the bridge of 'Tilted', "I'm doing my face with magic marker," the crowd jubilantly correct her - "J'fais tout mon make-up au Mercurochrome." It's a good-natured battle, one which the English-language fans are happy to observe from the sidelines.

The set itself, meanwhile, is a dynamic and infectious thing. Christine (whose real name, technically, is Héloïse Letissier - but she doesn't see the need to point that out) skulks, then leaps across the stage as the music pulses and swells beneath her. She's flanked by two graceful but burly dancers, whose stature emphasises her own diminutive figure. It's a contrast that works to her advantage, compounding the wry irony in her lyrics. 

"I've got it, I'm a man now," she sings in 'iT', rolling up her sleeves and flexing her arms, still a tiny, fragile thing compared to the shadow looming over her. "And I won't let you steal it, I bought it for myself. I'm a man now." The shadow is her own of course - or perhaps it's another of her alter-egos, somewhere between the physical and ethereal, there to both dwarf and empower her. Then again, it might just be there to make sure everyone sees when she holds her hand at crotch height, and shapes it into something resembling a cock. A bit of both, probably. 

'Nuit 52' closes the set - the French version that is, she's got the hint - and Christine throws flowers into the crowd, making a rambling comparison between the show and a Tinder date. It's an appropriate end for a set both darkly comic and somewhat profound. I'd swipe right.

Read Gigwise's interview with Christine & The Queens here.