The procession of punters awaiting the Lily Allen show traverses down William St. Where around 700 eager fans wait in vain to squeeze into the underground bar with 150 capacity. The guest-list alone almost reaches that figure, despite being cut earlier in the day. It’s a small venue for a small girl who has exploded in an even smaller amount of time. The irony of having such a well publicised, well choreographed pop success in the humble walls of 77 is rather fitting. A product of underground hype funnelled through the internet into the mainstream.
Talk about hype! A 21-year-old myspace boom child. Pushed from the ordinary to the extraordinary in a matter of weeks. “Thankyou Australia for all your support over all these…year…….over all this year” she corrects herself. Topping number one in UK for her latest release ‘Smile,” she grins at the crowd as she sips on her cider and puffs a cigarette.
Her sweet yet somewhat satirical lyrics, ‘mockney’ accent, teamed with a beaming smile, big baby eyes and angel voice and shining white air max sneakers are a recipe for success. Backed by a band consisting of two ultra Brit pop looking fellas, one on base, the other on the laptop and keys, the whole crowd sings along to her contagious lyrics, and laughs along between songs when she muses about her quick success. She almost talks more than she sings. Unaffected by her new fame, she smiles and makes eye contact with each member of the crowd. She’s won us over.
This girl is cool. A much more appropriate teen idol than the Paris Hiltons or Nichole Richie’s, she has made it through her talent and proverbial balls. She is one cool girl, with a healthy and feisty attitude towards life, a great big, unaffected smile, and some beautifully uplifting songs to boot.
After 8 songs she is finished. When the audience calls out for more, she laughs “I’ve only got the one album! I’ve got nothing more.” But the crowd is hungry. As soon as she walks off stage three people jump at her abandoned lighter, and two girls almost break into a fight over her set list. The people are hungry. The media is hungry. I almost had a punch up with an over eager photographer who thought I might get in the way of him and his money shot. Is this the start of something big? Will we, the lucky ones, be saying in ten years we were there? We were there at 77 with Lily Allen.