'I've run out of secrets to steal,' Wener sang on a new song, 'Statuesque'. And riffs, too, it would seem'
Louise Wener's reputation as a PC-bashing controversialist went uncorroborated tonight. Bare-legged in leopard-print mini and tight, star- emblazoned vest, she shimmied onstage, launched straight into "Bedhead" and let the music speak for itself.

Fulfilling the adolescent fantasies of an audience mainly comprising indie youths who had bought their T-shirts in the foyer beforehand, Wener, a butter-wouldn't-melt ingenue, sang, strummed and flirted her way through her band's chart-topping album Smart, keeping inter-song links to a minimalist "All right?" and "cheers".

Her fluorescently clad colleagues continued the high street aesthetic, playing with a laconic efficiency designed to let Wener dictate proceedings. But with an up-for-it crowd primed by the raw power of the support act, 60 Ft Dolls (a band to watch), Sleeper were virtually relegated to the status of observers at the party - things just seemed to happen around them. Hits such as "Vegas", "Inbetweener" and "What Do I Do Now?" merged into a back catalogue of infectious, pop-by-numbers hooks, involving the simplest of chord changes (each accompanied by an ironic, exaggerated strum from Wener), most of them apparently nicked from Blondie and Squeeze. "I've run out of secrets to steal," she sang on a new song "Statuesque". And riffs, too, it would seem.

Sleeper play the kind of anodyne, perfunctory pop you hum while vacuuming - catchy but ultimately forgettable. Their popularity owes more to generics than specifics. "Cheers, and thanks for all your support this year," Wener yelled and threw her plectrum into a testosterone-powered scrimmage at the front. We came away humming the tunes, although we couldn't say which ones.

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