La Roux, Brixton Academy, London

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The Independent Culture

Through the haze of hairspray, the jungle of permed hair and the suffocating corsetry of ultra-tight jeans, it can be hard to remember that there were some good things about the Eighties.

Androgynous flame-quiffed siren Elly Jackson, aka the public half of electropop duo La Roux, clearly doesn't need reminding. She's framed by a stylish black geometric set, sporting a shoulder-padded monochrome blazer that wouldn't look amiss on any Dynasty heroine, and when she prances doe-eyed on to the theatrical Brixton stage to open with the soft synths of "Tigerlily", she throws some serious shapes against the neon lights. Style-wise, she's got the decade down – and at a baby-faced 22 years old, she wasn't even alive for half of it.

"I'm so happy to be here I can't even describe it," says an emotional Jackson, more than slightly chuffed to be playing her hometown of Brixton. With a huge grin, she delicately launches her infamous "falsetto from the ghetto" vocals into "Colourless Colour", from the self-titled debut album co-written by La Roux's shadowy other half Ben Langmaid, which became one of the biggest records of 2009.

It's a real shame then that with so much style, acclaim and obvious passion for her firmly claimed retro-futurism niche, Jackson's voice doesn't keep up with the demands of her David Bowie does "Dancing in the Street" moves. Even on "Quicksand", the vocals swing between fragile birdsong and piercing fingers-in-ears shrieks.

Jackson rescues the performance from its steady nose dive for the last third of the set. At last, acoustic number "Saviour" showcases her stunning ethereal vocal command and whispers of potential for the new forthcoming record. Steel drums and dancers add a Brixton flavour to the calypso-infused "I'm Not Your Toy" and finally, the crowd loves it. But it's Jackson's encore for massive single "Bulletproof" that has them properly dancing like no one's watching.

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