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Live review: Little Boots at Spaceland

February 5, 2009 |  3:11 pm

Boots250 Has there ever been more of a chip-shot obvious pick for a future pop star than Little Boots? When a pixieish British girl with an affection for Japanese light-up gadgets vamps over techno-pop as dark and fizzy as a Cherry Coke float, somewhere in heaven an A&R scout gets their wings.

But her Spaceland show last night revealed something a bit more serious at play: a seriously cracking live band dynamic that had "impenetrably packed Coachella tent in 2010" written all over it (probably in glitter pen).

All it takes is traction from one single to get her there and Boots can pick from a half-dozen of them. The first contender, the Italo-house banger "Stuck On Repeat," sashays like Kylie but feels a little colder and meaner, like she's not too happy that some suitor finally won her attention.

Imagine Glass Candy with a budget, or Goblin scoring a John Hughes movie. "Meddle," the other single off her digital-only "Arecibo" EP, kicks even harder before dissolving into a blippy chant and Dario Argento-flick synths, and "Mathematics" will evoke fond memories for anyone who's spilled a drink on themselves to Annie's "Two of Hearts."

All well and good, and certainly you nerdboys out there will have plenty to say about her stage presence. But live electronica might be one of the trickier beats in pop music to pull off convincingly on a stage as small as Spaceland's. So let it be known that whoever her synth player is on this tour, he is an absolute monster and needs to be getting paid a thousand bucks a night to do this for Madonna someday.

The two-piece drums-and-electronics setup provided more than enough thwack and mood, and Boots is even better in front of adoring throngs than she is before her home webcam -- goofy, commanding and just as in love with her songs as we were. She can fight it out with La Roux for a spot atop the U.K. new-disco vanguard, but consider this the last time anybody in L.A. will be able to see her without a personal Tenori-On handler and an extra decimal place on the size of her crowds.

--August Brown

Photo by Daniel Sannwald