Rock : Thrusts R Us with Wembley's neighbourhood crotch

Kelly rubs himself against every available surface like an embarrassing dog

THE screaming starts at Wembley Arena on Friday even before R Kelly arrives: PJ and Duncan have been spotted in the crowd, then the hunk from East 17 who doesn't pull down his baseball cap properly.

We're still screaming when a film begins on a screen in front of the stage. With Terminator-style camera angles and graphics, it shows the Chicago dude caged in a hi-tech jail, stripped to his undies, and guarded by a female SWAT team who no doubt moonlight as models. They won't release him until he tones down his act. "Have you any idea what your music does to a woman like myself?" trembles one.

Unsurprisingly, Kelly escapes, and is soon before us, stomping around to a booming funky beat. At least, I think it's Kelly. He comes on with two rappers with the same black outfits, dark glasses and shaven heads, so, as someone sitting near me says: "Hemight be at home for all we know." He is joined by a band and three lingeried women who writhe like clockwork sex-toys: robocopulators. If they're not grabbing their own privates they're grabbing someone else's.

Kelly's songs would have his musical kin Prince (as he used to be known) advising him to tone it down a bit. You don't have to be Christopher Ricks to interpret the lyrics of "Bump n' Grind", "Sex Me", or the especially recondite "I Like the Crotch on You": "What's going on inside my pants I can't explain," he croons, "so bring your body over here, baby." And leave your brain over there, presumably.

Last year's hit single, "She's Got That Vibe", pumps up the pace, but otherwise, despite the prison warden's opinion, the actual music is nugatory. The band keeps vamping, stroking jazzy chords over a swingbeat backing, while Kelly talks to the audience.Although he is quite a hoofer, tonight he doesn't dance a step. Instead, he continually asks the crowd to do all the work: to sing, to raise their hands, to make some goddamn noise, and to state, in no uncertain terms, whether they want him, whether they're feeling freaky, and whether they'll meet him round the back afterwards.

Kelly's1993 album, which has just gone gold in Britain, is called 12 Play, and the show embodies the theme precisely: foreplay after foreplay after foreplay. (The record sleeve, incidentally, bears the intriguing dedication: "To my homie and good friend Tony Blair - page me later, nigger." I think we should be told.) From start to finish he is pelvic thrusting, stroking himself, fishing around in his trousers, and rubbing himself against every available surface like your neighbour's embarras sing dog.

This is what being a teen idol is all about. He is the prince of poseurs, the Big Tease. It is so deliberately over-the-top that it's funny - he even wears a jacket with "horny" emblazoned on the back, as if we needed reminding - but it does get monotonous: Take That may tease, but they dance and sing as well. This is like the performance of "Like a Virgin" in In Bed with Madonna, but stretched over 90 minutes. And it is foreplay without a climax. Maybe he obeyed the warden's demands to clean up after all, because the promised Jim Morrison-esque display does not occur. Kelly ends the concert by proudly showing us his pants, before shuffling off with his trousers round his ankles. He'll never find anyone who loves him as much as he loves himself.

The next time someone informs you that pop music is just shouting and noisy guitars you can prove them wrong by taking them to see the Voodoo Queens. Their music is mostly shouting and noisy guitars, true, but it incorporates those other vital pop elements: humour, style (in the neo-handbag-glitz form of pig-tails and silver leggings), and ferocious energy. These were the attributes which earned the all-woman four-piece a booking on John Peel's show after one gig, and which sent their second single, "Kenuwee Head" to number one in the indie charts.

They were vital attributes at the Camden Palace on Tuesday night. The show starts at 12.30am in the freezing cold morning. Anjali Bhatia wishes us "a happy voodoo New Year", and the band crash into a punk set as raucous as you can get while still being tuneful. Bhatia yells lyrics as querulous as a more genuine, less irritating Shampoo: "I should have dumped you when you said I looked fat in that dress". Alongside such manic classics as "I'm Not Bitter, I Just Want to Kill You", and the vul nerable ballad "Neptune" ("I drank that vodka neat / I couldn't act discreet / I was further gone than Neptune") there are at least two songs not on their album, Chocolate Revenge (Too Pure). One of them appears to be about Keanu Reeves, and rhymes "the most bodacious boy you ever saw" with "his picture on your fridge door". The other posits that Ice T's sexism results from his lack of two organs, one of which is a brain.

The Voodoos' record company biography declares them "born to be famous" on the evidence of their early success, but they are too radio-hostile to become much better known than they are now. This is a shame - for two reasons. First, because they deserve to be heard, and second, because it would mean I could see them live without having to stay up so late.

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine