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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Katy Perry: a verdict

Hi, my name's Cover My Tracks and I think Katy Perry's hot. There, I've said it. And naming the demon is the first step to controlling it, right? I'm sure there are many more 'worthy' objects of my affection in the public eye, but there's something about the twinkly-eyed little pop minx that gets my heart racing. And no, it's nothing to do with her frankly unlikely claims that she kissed a girl. And my warming to her has grown, errr, hotter (sorry) the more I see her. I think there's a lot of old fashioned sauce about her - I've got visions of posters of her pinned to lockers in army barracks around the world, with GI's sitting on the bed whilst greasing their hair back and talking wistfully about what a 'swell gal' she is, Johnny. But in the less-romantic world of music, in the long run it will take more than that to sustain a career. Besides, GI's don't have that much money to splash on downloads, do they?

So I think a live-vocal TV performance is a reasonable way to judge someone's musical prowess. I'm catching up on a few recent shows of Later with Jools Holland and Ms. Perry cropped up a couple of weeks ago, alongside Elbow, Roots Manuva, David Gilmour and an excellent Texas newcomer by the name of Hayes Carll (watch out for him on October's picks compilation because I'm sure he's going to feature).

Now, Jools Holland's show has always held a special place in my heart for its simple approach to filming musical performances, and letting the emphasis stay on the performers and songs. Normally, that's all to the benefit of the featured guests, but not in the case of Katy Perry. It wasn't good. In fact, it was bad. And by bad, I mean Avril Lavigne bad. Ashlee Simpson bad. Bad bad.

I'll always be at pains to stay well away from any kind of musical snobbery, so that's not what this is about. Pop music is great - it fundamentally makes the world a better place, and the aforementioned lasses all add to that in their own way. But what I can't understand is letting someone who isn't a great performer step up there on national telly and sing out of tune and flat. I'm also a little surprised that the bookers on Jools had her on in the first place, but maybe they too thought she a swell gal.

Sure, the quality of the KP performance wasn't helped at all by the fact that she was on the same show as some great acts - Elbow (at the top of their game right now), Roots Manuva (the UK's most talented MC in my opinion) and David 'don't call me Dave' Gilmour (not my favourite artist but he definitely knows what he's doing), to name three.

So it's with a lump in my trou...sorry, throat, that I have come to the conclusion that Katy Perry is better seen and not heard. So here's another picture.

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