>Ugly Megan, and Alexandra Burke’s Sincerity Vaccuum

Over two nights, I’ve seen two awful gigs. This will not do. The first band I will not name; they were young and new, and will surely improve.

But in the meantime, I will offer this nugget of advice: it’s fine to swagger about the stage like Ian Brown and Liam Gallagher‘s proto-lovechild, but only if you can back up your cocksure braggadocio with, you know, good music.

Oh, and never introduce another mindlessly drab U2-lite number with the words, “This one’s a fucking tune! Come on!” unless you enjoy the sight of a roomful of people raising quizzical eyebrows.

Still, at least they were sincere, unlike last night’s ear-harassment from X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, who turned up in Manchester to pick up a large cheque and switch on the Christmas lights.

Insincerity made flesh, she actually used the, “Manchester is my favourite place to perform” line – and the crowd lapped it up. It was so embarrassing I didn’t know where to look. Then she ground out both her hits, offered a few more scripted blandishments and exited stage left.

As she did, she pretended to spot someone in the audience, pointed, performed an oh-my-god-can-you-believe-it! wave and then finally expunged herself from our drab lives. Sadly, the collective sigh of relief was conspicuous by its absence.

For all those who are recovering from similar half-hearted celeb-showpieces, Ugly Megan are the antidote. Gentle beyond measure on the surface, but unexpectedly steely and sexy beneath. “I really like your trousers but I’d prefer them on the floor,” sings Kathi on the delightfully nice ‘n’ sleazy One Night At My House.

Ugly Megan – One Night At My House

The template – guitar, cute female vocals and tinkling xylophone – has been used to death, but not in such an genuinely sweet, lusty way. And in Kathi and Orlando’s Revolution, their soft/barbed coupling makes even more sense.

Ugly Megan have also found a whole new niche: in covering Snoop Dogg‘s What’s My Name, they’ve – believe it or not – successfully melded twee pop and gangsta rap.

No, it doesn’t make sense to me either. But it works well, doesn’t seem to be a bad joke and sounds good. The opposite of Alexandra Burke then.

Photography by Deen O’Saurus

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