It’s been awhile since I saw the Sugababes live. The last time was more than a few years ago when ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’ was tearing up the album charts and the Sugababes were toasting their first number one single with ‘Freak Like Me’ – a brilliant electro track that still is and will always be, well brilliant to me.
So when I was invited along to see the Sugababes perform at the new state-of-the-art Indigo2 venue at the O2 last Friday night to hear them perform some of their new material from ‘Change’, I knew that it was time to give the babes another whirl. I have to be honest, I sorta lost interest in the babes after ‘Three’ came out and since Mutya left I was pretty much thinking that the Sugababes brand was slowly overcooking, but they’ve had quite a number of fab pop songs that I like and they aren’t shy to play around with a bit of electronica so hey, why not go along and see what new material they have in store, eh?
First of all – I just have to get this out of the way…The Indigo2 is amazing. Stunning design, outstanding sound system, air-conditioned and this is the killer…courteous and polite bar staff! I had three bar staff offering to serve me at a busy bar. I couldn’t believe it! Usually at gigs you have to queue for what seems like forever to get a dixie cup filled with alcohol only for them to overcharge you for it in return. But they definitely know what they are doing at the Indigo2…so just wanted to say thanks to those O2 guys – great job. You’re role in a night out is just as important as the talent on stage and you made it work guys. I love ya and since I love the O2, you can bet that I won’t be changing my mobile phone network provider anytime soon.
OK – so the Sugababes come on after being an hour late than the advertised stage time which normally doesn’t bother me, but it twas a bit annoying. OK I can forgive them for it being that there was a lot of technical stuff to work out for the Channel 5 filming, but since the DJ pre-show music consisted primarily of Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Beyonce, Timbaland, The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie and Shakira…I found myself somewhat bored due to the lack of imagination in the pre-show music. Kinda boring to the extreme, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it more than me – and I know, I’m just an electro bitch, I know, I know…I won’t hold that against anyone else who was having a good time.
Heidi, Keisha and Amele look great. They opened with ‘Hole In The Head’ and ‘Round Round’ which are great classic pop songs. I did get a little excited when they took to their stools and delivered ‘Overload’ in which Keisha asked the audience to overlook the line ‘skipping school gotta walk for air’ as she tells us she was just the tender age of fifteen when she recorded that. It was rather noticable too why the girls chose Amele to replace Mutya…they have VERY similar husky voices and in a band like the Sugababes who need that sorta distinction, it was a wise decision – even if Amele has the tendancy to get in the odd bar fight every once in awhile…it’s funny to read about.
The babes sang three new songs from ‘Change’. First off was the best one in my opinion, the title track ‘Change’. It was really good – catchy and thoughtful. They also sang ‘Denial’ which was ok. Not as good as ‘Change’ but it was ok, not bad. However when they sang their new single ‘About You Now’…we weren’t so impressed. I dunno, I don’t like this style of song. It reminds me of a McFly song. It’s not the cool-esqe style that I have come to know from the Sugababes. My mate Ross agrees with me – it doesn’t work for either of us. People will disagree and other blogs call this song ‘amazing’ but you know what, I don’t think it is…The Sugababes are obviously saving some of their better material for future singles. But the single will do well with the kids and the teenagers and if that’s what you need to do, then hey, do it.
We were feeling the most enjoyment though when the girls were tucking into their hits. ‘Too Lost In You’ was amazing. Heidi told us the story of how they met Diane Warren before recording this song that she wrote. ‘Caught Up In The Middle’ was fun and the girls even paid tribute to Primal Scream by doing their cover version of rock classic ‘Get Ya Rocks Off’ which was really good. I quite enjoyed their stomping performance of ‘Red Dress’ and their acoustic breakdown of ‘Ugly’ made me smile. The girls made me quite happy by encoring with ‘Freak Like Me’ and their massive hit ‘Push The Button’ to close out the show and overall, it was an ok evening. Suprisingly enough, the babes didn’t sing ‘Easy’…what’s up with that?!
I feel that I may be getting a bit older now to really appreciate the Sugababes brand of pop and the new direction they may be going in, but you know what, they are maintaining that youthful image brand that sells them many of cds and hey that’s ok. For as long as the Sugababes keep putting out CDs, I’ll proabably keep buying them as I prefer them to Girls Aloud anyday. The babes are sophisticated women and I hope that their careers either solo or in the band keep going from strength to strength.
And Heidi…she’s just oh so pretty…sigh.