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10th April 2022

Live Review: Dorian Electra at Belgrave Music Hall

Review of Dorian Electra’s My Agenda Tour at Belgrave Music Hall, which featured COUCOU CHLOE, as part of her UK+3 Tour.
Live Review: Dorian Electra at Belgrave Music Hall
Photo: Jay Darcy @ The Mancunion.

Safe to say, I’ve never been to a gig quite like this before. Half-gig, half-rave, I was glad to be sat in the tucked-away seats. Feeling like a VIP, I watched over the hundreds of people stood closely together, jamming along to the music. Don’t get me wrong, they were having a helluva time; raves just aren’t my cup of tea. The concert, headlined by Dorian Electra (as part of their My Agenda Tour) was opened by COUCOU CHLOE (as part of her UK+3 tour). I first heard of COUCOU CHLOE because of the whole Rihanna/Fenty/Islam controversy.

Whilst Dorian’s set was a little uncomfortable at times, I enjoyed most of the music. COUCOU CHLOE’s music, though, is not a bit of me. I can appreciate its excellence, but most of it does nothing for my ears. However, I was glad to see her perform her remix of Lady Gaga‘s ‘Stupid Love’.

Still, it was good to see her having such a good time onstage, but – actually, I could hardly see her at all! That was the worst thing about this gig: the lighting. The stage was lit with dark, coloured lights; it was difficult to even make COUCOU CHLOE’s features out. I don’t even have a photo good enough for this article.

The lighting both improved and worsened during Dorian’s set. The lights were brighter, and the little white light meant I could see Dorian’s features better, but there was an excessive use of strobe. Strobe should be used sparingly, and for effect. Overuse not only takes away from its brilliance but also risks giving you a migraine.

Other than that, Dorian’s set was superb. I prefer their debut album, Flamboyant, to their most recent release, My Agenda – which this tour was in support of. Most of the songs on the setlist were a little too intense for my liking. I love hyper-pop, but My Agenda is perhaps a little too hyper. It still has its fair share of bops though – namely ‘Barbie Boy’, with its poetic lyrics, such as “Plastic is perfect but plastic will melt in the sun.”

I was thrilled that Dorian sang three of my favourite songs from Flamboyant: ‘Adam & Steve’, ‘Guyliner’ and ‘Man to Man’ – the latter being the final song of the main set. It was ear-gasmic to finally hear Dorian chant the anthemic lyrics, “Say I’m an abomination / But I’m God’s creation” from ‘Adam & Steve’, “Chicks dig it when they see me cry / Chicks dig it, let me tell you why” and “Masc for mascara” from ‘Guyliner’, and “You know I ain’t straight / But I’ma say it straight to you” from ‘Man to Man’.

However, I was gutted that ‘Guyliner, Pt. 2’ didn’t make the setlist; its exclusion in favour of tracks I’m not so fond of was disappointing. But that’s just a matter of opinion – most people seemed to be more than content with the setlist.

All was not lost, though, for Dorian opened the encore with their remix of Lady Gaga’s ‘Replay’ (yes, COUCOU CHLOE and Dorian both featured on Lady Gaga’s Dawn of Chromatica). The audience was particularly thrilled about this.

Dorian offered an incredible performance. They owned the stage and made the audience their bitches. They danced, they pranced, they sashayed, they shantayed, and they had the best time doing it. Their costumes were all as camp and outlandish as one would expect from Dorian.

Now, I must give a shout out to Dorian’s fierce, femme dancers. The gig improved once they took to the stage (and the flashing lights dwindled). They were super sexy (their bodies anyway – I could hardly see their faces because even when the lights stopped flashing ferociously, they still weren’t great).

Overall, it was a really fun night, albeit a little high-velocity for my liking. Most people seemed unsurprised – delighted, even – with the incredible intensity of the performance. It’s simply a matter of personal taste, and whilst Dorian tastes delicious, it’s just a little overpowering for my inferior taste buds.

Dorian Electra tours the UK and Ireland with their My Agenda Tour until 10 April, before taking it to continental Europe until the end of the month. In June, they’ll play two dates in Spain – alongside Canada and the USA.

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected].

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