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PinkPantheress review – deft mashups from TikTok star who stepped seamlessly into real life

<span>PinkPantheress in person … on stage at Alexandra Palace on Friday.</span><span>Photograph: Burak Çıngı/Redferns</span>
PinkPantheress in person … on stage at Alexandra Palace on Friday.Photograph: Burak Çıngı/Redferns

PinkPantheress’s Capable of Love tour might be the least creative-directed pop spectacle mounted this year, and it’s all the better for it. Loosely tying into the lightly gothic conceit of her 2023 debut album Heaven Knows, the show, ostensibly, has a haunted house theme: the 22-year-old producer and TikTok star is surrounded by large ornate mirrors and dusty-looking furniture, and every few songs a menacing voice booms through the speakers to introduce another section of the show.

But, as with Pink’s music, she cannot seem to commit to genre pastiche for more than a few moments at a time. It’s not long before burlesque dancers are swanning across the stage, dancing along to the emo-d’n’b hybrid Where You Are; later, during the feverish funky house joint The Aisle, immaculately coiffed salsa dancers take centre stage as Pink rests on a settee, happily watching. After they depart the stage, she gases them up like she’s bidding to be Strictly’s first zoomer judge: “They ate. They ate up and down.”

The casual randomness of the show – a sold-out date at 10,000-cap Alexandra Palace, the triumph of which is somewhat underplayed by Pink herself – smartly mirrors the appeal of Pink’s music. She makes deft mashup art, throwing together influences with such abandon as to make them all feel relatively new. It’s intimate music, and she is not a high-energy performer, but that’s not a problem here: the d’n’b breaks that provide the backbone of much of her material are dialled up massively here, and fortified by a live drummer.

Pink herself plays a heightened version of the persona she adopts online, preening and pouting with the half-ironic, glazed-over look of a Jennifer Coolidge character as she walks across the stage, black baguette bag tucked neatly under her arm.

Although she has struggled with live vocals in the past, it’s hard to detect any flubs here; on songs such as Another Life and Capable of Love, she holds her own against loud, dense arrangements, and she cuts easily through more low-key songs such as Bury Me. By the time she reaches her strong closing run, which includes her inescapable 2023 hit Boy’s a Liar Pt 2 and the Central Cee collab Nice to Meet You, the young, adoring crowd is frenzied and agog – expressing total fealty to the rare TikTok star who has stepped seamlessly from her bedroom to crowds of thousands without losing her distinct sense of identity along the way.