Lady Gaga, Heaven, London

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The Independent Culture

Out of the many female singers who at the beginning of the year were being hailed as the sound of 2009, Lady GaGa is first out of the starting blocks, scoring a number one single both here and across the Atlantic with "Just Dance", an electronic pop ode to getting wasted.

The artist formerly known as Joanne Stefani Germanotta has been playing the New York club scene for years, as well as writing for the likes of New Kids on the Block and Fergie, but has now stepped into the spotlight to taste fame for herself. Her first UK gig proved to be an attraction usually reserved for far more established artists. The queues outside Heaven and the packed crowd inside for the club's G-A-Y night would usually suggest Britney or Christina performing, not someone who has released only one single.

Just before she finally arrived on stage an hour late, a rather baffling and pompous video was shown, presented by Haus of GaGa, Lady GaGa's creative collective, which immediately killed the atmosphere that had built up inside the sweaty venue. She has recently been quoted as saying her goal is to get pop "taken as seriously as fine art" and she continually compares her and her friends to Andy Warhol's Factory. But when she shows such pretentious twaddle throughout the performance you want to tell her that pulling on some sequinned knickers, applying giant fake eyelashes and singing some pretty average pop songs does not really constitute high art. And hasn't she just set off on tour with the Pussycat Dolls, a band with the creative integrity of a bikini wax.

Squeezed into a striking shiny plastic silver dress, Gaga, flanked by three impossibly energetic dancers wearing nothing but leather trousers and a slick of baby oil, treated the frenzied crowd to tracks off her debut album, The Fame, including "Poker Face" and "Paparazzi". Considering the album has only been released this week, an impressive amount of the crowd sung along and cheered as her outfit slowly disappeared until she was writhing away in just a black leotard and something reminiscent of Madonna's famous conical bra.

To be fair, she's a capable pop star. Admirably, she sung live (not something the likes of Kylie or Madonna are too often accused of) and there were some fun dance sequences, especially during "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" which she performed held aloft by the ripped dancers. Lady GaGa would benefit from not taking herself so seriously and embrace being a bit more outrageous.

Still, if the reaction her debut performance elicited is anything to go by, the girl is going to be huge.

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