King Princess is definitely on a high right now. They’re on tour with the actual Red Hot Chilli Peppers and have just supported Florence + The Machine down under. Most importantly, they’re finally getting to perform some back-to-back headline gigs across the UK. A chance to showcase their first two albums – Cheap Queen and Hold On Baby – in full, at last.
It all means that a show at London’s iconic KOKO feels like a chance to see the singer before bigger rooms inevitably beckon in the near future. With support from Boston duo Boyish and a memorable introduction from a local drag queen, this felt exactly the correct way to reintroduce themselves to fans new and old.
As the lights lowered, the audience were greeted with a Barbie-pink hue. Kicking things off with the mid-tempo of ‘Little Bother’, King Princess quickly commanded the stage, though her gorgeously soft, impressive, vocals were drowned out at times by a heavy bass of their very enthusiastic band. At times, fans struggled to fight through the background noise to hear the star of the show as their set continued.
But the energy and connection never wavered between the two. King Princess spent the next hour-and-a-half seamlessly swapping between vocals (resulting in some very impressive movements with the microphone), their throne placed at the keyboard upstage, and strumming on an electric guitar. They teased “I feel like this is an album you’ll like very much” as the first segment became dominated by tracks from their debut, the bluesy vibes of ‘Prophet,’ painfully relatable love song ‘Ain’t Together’ and soulful heartbreak anthem ‘Back Of A Cab’ – before entering their Hold On Baby era through a silky-smooth interlude of vocals.
“I see partying, I see safety, I see friendship,” they gushed to the crowd during a particularly emotional moment. That’s something we already know is so important to King Princess. “I don’t care if you’re gay, or you’re straight. My rule of thumb is that if you’re at my show, you are going to be respectful, you’re going to have fun, and you’re going to take care of each other,” they recently told Attitude Magazine.
‘The Bend’ ‘Talia’ and ‘Ain’t Together’ acted as some of the biggest crowdpleasers. Fans screamed as they’re treated to a second dose of Boyish for collab track ‘Kill Your Pain’. After demanding they chant “please Antoine, may I have the pussy”, King Princess pauses to compliment the crowd of Londoners on their “sexy” accents ahead of ‘Pussy Is God’.
But it was breakout hit ‘1950’, that for many acted as the clear highlight. The singer knew it too, using the track to reinforce the message that their fans really matter through everything. After a poignant slowed-down sing-along, it seems as though they redeemed themselves, with the crowd still firmly onside as we near the end. Fan-favourite ‘Talia’ and a heavy rendition of rock-and-roll track ‘Ohio’ finished things off. The chaotic reverberation from the band remaining long after they bowed out, their mark truly made in London. Yes, there’s some fine-tuning to be done here still, but this definitely feels like the start of a long and exciting reign for King Princess.