Icona Pop: making other dance music look pretentious, since 2009

Taking a look at Dance-Pop’s new princesses

Gig: Icona Pop

Venue: XOYO, London

Date: 8 October

Crowd: Semi-hipster

Music: Unironic, happy, dance music

Best song: Then we kiss!

Feeling: Kazoo


Do you reckon they could do this All Night?


Icona Pop started out with a quiet beat in the back, singing the first words of their single We Got the World, and just as every other review of them has already told you, Icona Pop do have the world at their feet.

They had just arrived from a venture into North America, but now back have brought with them a happiness that is more contagious than anything you will find on stage this year. And kazoos. Because no instrument is happier than a kazoo.

As to prepare to the concert I watched their performance from iTunes festival: the two girls, on the big stage of the Roundhouse in Camden, looked like a two person rave, dancing away on a stage too big and with a crowd too mellow to care. In the dark XOYO basement, with the stage crammed up to the side, Icona Pop came alive; hooking the place from the first tune.


Praise the kazoo!


As you would expect, the crowd was slightly heavy on the hipsters, the typer where you begin to wonder whether they can actually ever be truly  entertained: but if the explosion of happiness we saw on stage couldn’t, I don’t know what will. Because that is what you walk away from when Icona Pop ends with their rather token I Love it – they do just love it.

Their girl-band-y jaunty, Tupac-inspired tune Girlfriend, overloaded with the na-na-nas and the infamous “All I need in this life of sin, is me and my girlfriend” make so much more sense by seeing them share a laugh out loud together on stage.

What makes them so special is their lack of pretension  – Icona Pop are as far fromtrying to be cool and impressive as possible. Sure, their voices failed them from time to time, but hearing them unproduced and genuine is a refreshing change from their own singles and dance music in general. When they, unfortunately, ended with a really weak mix of I Love it, you could tell it was because they’re tired of the song, and their attempt to try and mix it up could never really work.

This concert compelled you to believe that Icona Pop is worth so much more than being a one hit wonder. When they return to London it will be in March next year, their first headlining tour, playing at KOKO. I will be there, hoping that they will have put I Love it behind them. Because frankly, as I’m sure they know, it’s getting old.