Wednesday, July 13, 2005


The defenstration of Lauryn Hill's career continues - following on from last week's coolly-received US set comes another disaster, this time at The Coliseum in London. She turned up so late many of the crowd had elected to go off and find something better to do before she even got on the stage, some 120 minutes adrift already. And then - well, she didn't appear to be that interested in performing:

Her voice, at least, was still in fine form, but her songs were patchy, percussive renditions of non-hits that struggled along where they should have swaggered and too often found it hard to focus on a tune. Songs from The Miseducation, including a stripped-down, piano-backed version of the title track, and Final Hour, one of the few numbers to boast hip-hop beats, were at best so-so, while To Zion was turned into a tacky Calypso tune. Only Just Want You Around, from Hill’s Unplugged album, was a vaguely memorable moment that got the crowd clapping along.

And then, if anything, it managed to get worse:

she took to reading lengthy poems from pieces of paper. Those whose attention was waning were probably wondering who on earth dresses the singer these days. She had claimed it was picking an outfit for the evening that had made her so late — the original excuse was the traffic — but if that was the truth, it was two hours ill spent. A sludge-coloured, calf-length, pleated skirt, glitzy, Pat Butcher-esque earrings and a white silky skirt with a big, floppy bow made her look like a middle-aged secretary and when she grabbed the sides of her skirt to do some dance steps, it was like watching your gran at a wedding.

Better get that Fugee reunions running quickly...