Sliimy, Hoxton Bar and Grill, London

Charming man's hips don't lie
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The Independent Culture

Fiercely fabulous is the sort of phrase that springs to mind when trying to figure out the perfect all-encompassing label to slap across this new French poppet named Sliimy. Yes, it probably rings of every gay cliché known to honour unbridled campness, but if your music's already been dubbed "perky pop" and co-signed by gossip queen Perez Hilton, then not only is he totally FF, he's also in line to becoming the next colourful icon in modern music. This is no less thanks to the online buzz that has been swirling around his curly locks since he dropped his own acoustic cover of Britney's "Womanizer" last year. Soon, Hilton was generating interest all over the web as he openly bragged about the quirky singer before revealing a few months ago that he would be the first artist on the blogger's own label, Perezcious Music. Then came the comparisons, the obvious one being to Mika (which Sliimy explained was down to them both having curly hair, yet seemed to ignore their olive skin tone and shared disposition for primary colours, whimsical melodies and pre-school iconography – but let's not be tedious). It all suggests that he's very much set to be a big deal and for a Monday night, he's attracted a good horde of spectators for his UK debut.

It's an interesting 45-minute outing, mainly due to the fact that while he only shares a few words with the audience – and he did admit he was a bit scared – the singer-songwriter's performance almost seems to revolve around his one-man acoustic accompaniment, and it doesn't help that his wonderfully wispy voice makes it difficult to make out what he's actually singing about half of the time. This could also hint at a bit of early self-indulgence, but to the 20-year-old's credit, the tunes are fantastic. "Magic Game" is a snappy, staccato-driven funk number, which has him jumping around, pouting and sashaying like he's working the runways in Milan, and when his flamboyance hasn't got him clapping heartily or twisting his hips, he's equally capable of evoking warm empathy, like on his storming version of "Womanizer".

He's energetic, and quite trendy in his eccentric tuxedo, but his music stays safely within the box of acoustic pop and his facade almost begs for it to be something more daring. You get a whiff that if he spent a week with Lady Gaga, Björk, pre-Nineties Boy George, the spirit of Freddie Mercury and any other pop exhibitionist, he could easily start flaunting nipple tassles along to his romantic numbers like "See You Again" and "My God" and go all electro in the name of art pop, but then he wouldn't be so darn adorable, would he? And that's what Sliimy represents tonight – cute, charming, quintessentially French spontaneity that doesn't always make sense – like the point he wiggles his butt and seductively winds his waist all over his one-man band, or pops on a bearskin to hide his hair a bit – but deserves to be marked among the hottest, and undoubtedly fiercely fabulous newcomers in pop.

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