O2 Academy Brixton – July 15th
More likely to be writhing chaotically over, rather than blurring, the line between the sublime and the ridiculous, Ke$ha is a pop phenomenon with purpose. Unlike Katy Perry’s coquettish girl-next-door routine, Ke$ha is so thunderously bawdy and preposterous she can come over as slightly intimidating at first contact. Ultimately, it’s what makes her a cut above the rest, though: that unabashed pursuit of a good time for herself and her fans is so pure and goodhearted it’s impossible not to be swept up by it. Throwing herself into a set unblighted by ballads, opener ‘Warrior’ is as fierce a battle cry for her message of inclusion via abandon as could be hoped. Her best song, undervalued recent single ‘C’mon’, comes bursting with killer couplets (“We’ve been keeping it kosher/But I wanna get it on fo’ sure”) and an irresistible chorus hook. Though the most disposable-sounding on record, it’s the pure electro numbers that pack the biggest punch here, with ‘Blow’ testing the foundations with its crunching bassline. In between the hits, there’s costume changes galore, angle-grinding, inflatables and more glitter than you can shake a stick at. But after the confetti settles, it’s that elusive ability to be genuine without ever slipping into mawkishness and silly but always self-knowing that makes Ke$ha the most undervalued pop act of the moment.