It’s June 2018, Charli XCX is three tracks into her sold-out Village Underground Pop 2 show and brings out pop periphery Dorian Electra for their distorted verse on ‘Femmebot’.
Fast forward to Wednesday 20th 2019, Dorian Electra is back on the same stage. This time, it’s all about them.
Celebrating their debut album Flamboyant, a record of subversive queer fables, Electra looks out over their biggest headline crowd to date.
1,000 fans of the 27-year-old, calling themselves The Holy Church of Electra online, fill the underground Shoreditch venue for a night in which every detail has been carefully curated by the singer. Appropriately, it’s gospel-like music before the headliner’s arrival on stage, appearances from an organist, LED Glow Dancers and Sword Fighting feature, as Electra turns the Village Underground into a medieval mansion of futuristic electropop.
Opening on the anthemic ‘Flamboyant’, flanked by four backing dancers, the familiar Electra charisma that fans saw at August’s Thousand Island sets is back and elevated for the venue upgrade. ‘Daddy Like’ has fans shouting back the tongue-in-cheek rules of a sugar daddy, ‘VIP’ sees the singer whip the crowd into a bouncing frenzy and the swaggering combat story of ‘Man to Man’ make up other singles that are highlights of the night.
Deeper cuts in bonus tracks and Flamboyant songs such as ‘Guyliner’ and ‘Live by the Sword’ also make up the hour-long set which is finished off with some trademark ‘Career Boy’ head-banging and a rendition of ‘Femmebot’ – a nod to that XCX show last year.
“I’m an independent artist”, the singer reminds the crowd in a rallying call before leaving the stage. That is something Electra can be proud of. 17 months ago they performed to a Village Underground as a relative unknown, just a few singles to their name, trying to win over some new listeners. Less than a year and a half later, the same venue is sold out in their own right and Electra can pick out the faces of long-time friends and steadfast collaborators Mood Killer and Weston Allen, fellow artists in GIRLI and Nasty Cherry‘s Georgia Somary, PR companies and press in an empire that the ‘Flamboyant’ singer has grown by themselves.
And more importantly, there are 1,000 fans of Electra’s music who have come for the hits and for the space they create – later the singer is on the dance floor with fans at a nearby afterparty. The question on everybody’s lips now… when can we see Dorian Electra again?
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