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Review of Mika December Gig at The Reindeer


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Again apologies if this already exists.. (again did a search in the forum and didnt find anything!)


Was anyone lucky enough to go to this gig?!




Stripped-down set from a rising star

By André Paine, Evening Standard 13.12.06


One of life's outsiders: Beirut-born singer Mika


Based above a car park near Brick Lane, The Reindeer is a temporary venue and restaurant with a furtive feel. There's a thrill in going up the stairs behind the metal shutters and discovering the festive surroundings, including fake antlers as light fittings, which will all be gone after 24 December.


Flamboyant newcomer Mika seems certain to be a more permanent presence in pop. The 23-year-old Beirut-born singer moved to Britain as a child and found his place as one of life's outsiders. He was bullied at Westminster School and made music his escape, even training as an opera singer.


When he bounded on stage wearing gold shoes and a big grin, the bullying stories rang very true. But burgeoning success has clearly compensated for the name-calling, while a deal to be one of the faces of Paul Smith suggests that he is becoming a style icon.


As with Lily Allen, Mika's tunes have become MySpace hits ahead of the record company schedule. "I know I haven't released a single yet, so it's pretty amazing you're all here," he told the crowd. This was a stripped-down set with Mika - the surname's a mystery for now - pounding the piano alongside a friend on acoustic guitar and backing vocals.


But even nearly naked, the new single Grace Kelly was an irresistible slice of sassy pop, with Mika name-checking one key influence in the lyrics: Freddie Mercury. Like the Queen singer, Mika was supremely confident on stage and his emergence as a fully formed frontman feels like a rare occurrence.


There were shades of Robbie Williams on the mouthy My Interpretation, but he was at his best screaming falsetto on Love Today. It was a piano version, but the song's Seventies disco pulse was intact and Scissor Sisters fans will surely embrace it.


Sometimes he got a bit overexcited, slapping his thighs with pleasure at his own performance. However, the mournful Over My Shoulder was a surprising departure and he encored with a comical Christmas song, Holy Johnny. So while 2007 already appears to belong to Mika, his versatility as a songwriter suggests he can achieve longevity, too.

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