Live Review: King Princess - O2 Kentish Town Forum, London 26/06/2019
King Princess came back to the UK for her second time this week and played O2 Forum Kentish Town. The 2300-capacity venue, upgraded from Heaven, was completely sold out from floor to ceiling and teeming with excitement.
Anticipation and expectations were bubbling and pouring throughout the fans, who have already formed a solid fanbase across social media for the acclaimed "gay icon" that is Mikaela Straus, otherwise known as King Princess. Many camped outside the venue for hours for a chance to be close to the artist and hopefully catch one of her guitar picks as she graced the stage.
The artist was joined by a full band of guitar, bass player, backup singer and drums, not tucked away on small risers but out in the open, where the whole crowd could see them and where they could interact with the artist. She opened her set with her new single, ‘Cheap Queen’, which got a huge cheer from the crowd and who also repeated every word.
Her flawless vocals flowed off of her with a swagger, that she just could not contain and the crowd ate up every part of her and the performance. Picking up an electric guitar for the second track, ‘Upper West Side’, she exuded a huge amount of confidence for an artist who has only taken on her own act in the last couple of years.
She owned the stage, as well as the crowd, with her larger than life, yet intimate, personality and mannerisms, she moved and flung herself around the stage with a couple of dance moves thrown in and plenty of hair flips and head bangs.
Quickly asking her backing vocalist which key the next track was in, she blessed her fans with a new track off of her new album. Titled ‘Prophet’, it was a syncopated, smooth ballad that led into passionately loud and raw vocals. I get the sense that her new album, her debut following her EP, will be a raw, somewhat experimental mix of love songs and heartbreakers (probably mostly heartbreakers).
Pride flags could be spotted across the whole venue with their holders singing along as loud as they could as well as plenty of couples feeling the charisma and confidence of King Princess touching their bones. There was a real sense of pride throughout the venue from the fans as well as Mikaela herself and as Pride Month draws to an end, the concert felt like a real celebration of same-sex love.
A highlight for many fans was when the artist introduced one of her biggest tracks “Pussy Is God” as “the big pussy song”, as well as hearing her newest track with Mark Ronson, ‘Pieces of Us’, as the encore. After seeing King Princess perform live, it is undeniable that is she is a very talented young woman. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with amongst the pop industry and she has already begun to establish herself as one to watch and to have in your Spotify playlist.
This weekend, King Princess will be playing at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival. We can’t wait for the release of her new album and for her return to London.
Words and Photography by Max Herridge