Live Review: King Princess + Clea + Paris – The Triffid, Brisbane (03.11.18)

King Princess has been bouncing from strength to strength since releasing her international hit “1950” in February. In anticipation of her debut album, the Brooklyn 19-year-old is in town to give Australian audiences their first sneak peak of what to expect.

Drag queen Paris opened the night, dressed in a red sequin gown with large silicone boobs hanging out. Her ten-minute performance was for sure a passion-piece that was a joy to watch. It was seemingly unrehearsed with on-stage costume changes assisted by roped in side-stage guests and off-the-cuff banter. Although her song choices were lost on the audience, they lapped up her gusto and the performance made the hour-long wait for the opening act much more bearable.

Brisbane act Clea then took to the stage, oozing a humble sweetness as lead singer Clea Pratt bashfully introduced her band. Her drummer, boyfriend and ex-The Cairos frontman, Ali Richardson, had been bitten on the hand by a cat earlier in the day and was deemed a trooper for playing the show (“I’ll do anything for a cat,” he said). Clea grooved around the stage in a Lorde-esque manner, but her presence felt small and docile. The music itself was of a burgeoning quality and promised a solid debut album, which is due to be released 23rd November. Although Clea’s brand is soft, the performance was definitely authentic – a quality that is commendable on stage.

King Princess began her headline set with her EP’s title track, “Make My Bed”, before launching straight into “Upper West Side”. After this bop, the singer confessed she was a feeling a little too drunk but paired it with a smirk and a wink. Her presence was flirtatious and commanding and was filled with LGBTQI affirmations as a role model in the community – “You have to be gay to come to my concerts.” Girls were hanging on to her every word.

Just before jumping into her follow-up single, “Talia”, the keyboard pedal broke and there was a short filibuster session where King Princess came down to the front row of the mosh pit and chatted to audience members. Squealing and writhing filled the front rows to get a closer breath of the singer. The audience requested she sing her popular falsetto tune “Holy” and her latest release “Pussy Is God”, but the artist responded saying they were too hard to sing… Maybe she needs more rehearsal.

She wrapped up with her classic “1950” but then returned for an encore teaser for her upcoming album. Her set lasted nine songs and left the audience feeling short-changed. A quick set lacking some of King Princess’ best tunes and a tipsy performance. Don’t get me wrong, her craft was excellent – vocally on-point in a live performance and a sprinkle of rearranged songs – but the overall experience felt elitist and young-Hollywood brattish.

King Princess definitely walked the stage as royalty, but I wasn’t prepared to kiss her feet.

THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

King Princess continues her tour in Sydney on 6th November and then heads onto Auckland on 8th November. For more details head to her Facebook Page.