La Roux, Koko, review: Eighties-loving pop singer is refreshing as a Piña Colada

Elly Jackson sounds like she's been around for far longer than her 26 years

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The Independent Culture

Five years since the release of Elly Jackson's debut album and La Roux returns to a sold out Koko with confident new songs and more Eighties pop references than you could shake a stick at.

Dressed like Rick Astley in white slacks, Jackson's trademark red quiff bounces around to tracks from 2009's La Roux and her latest album, Trouble In Paradise.

La Roux's audible love of Eighties pop is still prevalent but synths tonight are bolstered by frantic, funk guitars while drums simulate the dancefloor beats of disco's decline and Jackson's vocals have gained a suppleness of Diana Ross.

Nile Rogers influences "Tropical Chancer" with the melodic sway of Carly Simon's Chic-produced hit "Why?" and Jackson slides around to a Sinitta-styled cover of Shirley and Company's, "Shame Shame Shame".

"Uptight Downtown" opens with the drums of David Bowie's "Let's Dance" while the synths of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" dominate  "Silent Partner", a song tartly referencing Ben Langmaid's departure from La Roux in 2012.

Jackson's knack for coming up with songs that sound as if they've always existed is a powerful feat and she conjures that sense of instant familiarity with ease, making tonight's show as gloriously colourful and refreshing as a Piña Colada.