Cher Lloyd, Indigo2, London
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The majority of X Factor contestants (and sometimes even winners) fade into obscurity, but Cher Lloyd's risky cover of Keri Hilson's 'Turn My Swag On' set her apart from other auditionees from the word go.
Downsizing from the reality show's huge audience to the Indigo2, Lloyd opened with 'Dub on the Track' from the debut album, shouting lyrics "work hard, party harder!" to an excitable crowd of predominantly young girls, and the odd male in his late teens/early twenties - odd in both senses of the word.
The miniature pop star commented twice about how nervous she was, and to some extent it came across. The message she's seemingly wanted to get across with her Sticks and Stones album and tour has been one of confidence, unperturbed about the harsh criticism she's received in the past. But something about the Malvern raised teen has always had the power to polarise, and it's a fact that she's well aware of.
Midway through the show, one of her five-stong female back dancers and band were invited to ask questions to Lloyd posed by fans on Twitter, one of which asking which superhero power she'd have if offered the choice. Someone in the audience shouted "super-bitchy", but fortunately that was the only display of negativity towards the teen singer.
Her number one hit 'Swagger Jagger' was well-received, in which she boldly tells haters to "get off of my face", but the song most enjoyed by the crowd was her second release 'With Ur Love'. An acoustic number 'Love me for me' showed her softer side and indeed that she's a competent vocalist, although she spoke of her disappointment that this number hadn't made it on to the album.
With covers of Jasun Derulo's 'Breathing', Avril Lavigne's 'Complicated', and 'OMG' by Usher, it's clear where her market is and there's undoubtedly a place for her. It was said that Lloyd was a ready-made pop star during her stint on the talent show, and this is one point that can't be argued.
The attitude has subsided, and during her performance the much-publicised swag that fans admired was unexposed. It can be easy to forget that this is an eighteen year-old girl who is reasonably new to the industry, but she won't let us forget that she's extremely talented, with a natural stage presence that defines her success so far.
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