Róisín Murphy and her dressing up box

Went to see Róisín Murphy at Academy Manchester last night: absolutely brilliant. She held the sold out audience spellbound with a fantastic voice, and a dizzying array of hats, shrugs, batwing jumpers, capes, shades, eyemasks, biker jackets and crazy metallic puff dresses.

If you don’t know Róisín Murphy, she found fame as the lead singer with Moloko who parted ways in 2004. Róisín’s first solo album, Ruby Blue produced by Matthew Herbert, followed a more experimental vibe than the later Moloko work, whereas Overpowered embraces the electro-funk and is occasionally reminiscent of Goldfrapp.

This was a very different show from the first time we saw her on the Ruby Blue tour at the Big Chill, with Matthew Herbert in attendance. That show was much more esoteric affair, with everyone on their best jazz noodling behaviour. Last night was much more in the fun and funk vein, with every song accompanied by a costume change to show off a different hat and shades at the very least. The music followed the lead from the latest album, pumping out some really great grinding funky bass, and a fun poppy feel. Favourite tracks: Overpowered (obviously) and Movie Star.

The show was excellent. Well thought out lighting, much better than the “bung a random colour on the stage” effects that often plague us. Really good video effects, including at one point some road safety flamingos dancing in formation.

Róisín is a brilliant performer, confident and alluring, with a great sense of theatre and playing an audience. The evening felt very much like watching an hugely talented and irrepressible child, with a great voice, showing off for a group of friends. My wife said to a friend afterwards “I really want to be her”, to which he replied “I think everyone there wanted to be her”… one of the hallmarks of a star? I think so. If she swings by your way with her dressing up box, grab a ticket.

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