Lily Allen launches new album at London comeback gig

lilyLily Allen launched her new album Sheezus at a sold-out London show last night (29 April). The provocative singer took to the stage at Shepherd's Bush Empire for her first full headline show in four years, playing songs from her upcoming third album alongside classic hits including Smile and The Fear. Launching her set with current single Sheezus, the London-born songstress emerged from behind the stage wearing a flamenco-like pink tank-top and sparkly silver and gold trousers. Behind her, graphics of baby bottles suggestively pouring milk played out - a reference to her new life as a mother of two small children. Next came feminist pop anthem Hard Out Here, with Allen performing the routine from the video, complete with backing dancers, as the crowd danced along. Her set relied heavily on fan favourites from her 2009 second album It's Not Me, It's You. However, tracks like Everyone's At It and 22 still sounded fresh and showcased Allen's ability to perform a proper pop tune. Debut single Smile was like a warm blast-from-the-past, with the crowd swaying along. The set also came alive during new songs which homaged Allen's home life, with L8 CMMR, As Long As I Got You, Life for Me and sex jam Close Your Eyes all highlighting what Lily is really interested in these days: her husband, her children and being a homemaker. Allen seemed truly comfortable on stage during these moments, dancing around the stage gleefully. However, when she noticed her husband looking distracted in the audience, she wasn't afraid to call him out. "Oi!" she said. "I know you're here with your mates, but it's my first big gig for ages. This is kind of a big deal here!" Even though this was a relatively intimate gig, she managed to squeeze in three costume changes. However, these didn't detract from the pace of the set and neither did fan favourites Who'd Have Known and Littlest Things.  The most glorious section of her set came with the trilogy of internet diss track URL Badman, midtempo party jam Our Time, and her still-fabulous 2009 chart-topper The Fear. It's easy to forget with all the column inches she generates that Allen is an artist who knows her way around a decent tune, and The Fear is a reminder of just how brilliant she can be. Strangely, Allen's encore consisted of half-baked political number Fuck You and her tepid recent single Air Balloon. Similarly, final song Not Fair seemed like a bit of an anti-climactic (no pun intended) ending to a set that was, for the most part, full of rather large pop moments. Still, even with the odd glitchy bit, it's hard to deny Lily Allen's live comeback was a very welcome success. The setlist was as follows: Sheezus Hard Out Here Everyone's At It Smile 22 As Long As I Got You Who'd Have Known L8 CMMR I Could Say Close Your Eyes Life For Me LDN Littlest Things URL Badman Our Time The Fear Encore: Fuck You Air Balloon Not Fair Lily Allen's new album Sheezus is released on May 5, and is streaming on iTunes now. Read our track-by-track review here. Lily Allen: ‘Bridget Jones’ musical may never be seen’ > Lady Gaga thanks Lily Allen for support: ‘She’s very sweet’