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Date TimeAugust 29, 2019
VoiceIslington Assembly Hall, LondonThe hit affirmation-as-song purveyor of Unwritten turns Linda-Perry rocker, but it’s more mild than wild
Natasha Bedingfield review – noughties pop revamp is more karaoke than killer
The late-noughties reality phenomenon The Hills is back, and so is the woman who wrote its theme song: Natasha Bedingfield. Back then, Haywards Heath’s least offensive musical scion struck commercial gold with a smattering of breezily uncynical self-affirmations-as-songs. At the end of music’s lucrative CD era, that was enough to rack up a startling 10m album sales, as well as a Grammy nomination for her wide-eyed gap year anthem Unwritten.
Bedingfield has teamed up with Linda Perry for her first album in eight years, Roll With Me. Going by Bedingfield’s live return, the influence of Perry, who’s made rockers out of Christina Aguilera and Pink, has stuck. It’s a decisive left-turn from the Radio 2-friendly sound perhaps expected of Bedingfield, and one she seems to relish. Backed by a five-piece band, she wears a black velvet jumpsuit and spiked boots, a Boohoo Chrissie Hynde. She goes hell for leather on phones-aloft rock ballad Wishful Thinking and shows off her vocal grit in Real Love. There’s a whiff of the jukebox musical to Bedingfield’s headbanging and hair-tossing, though. She talks of her “crazy idea” to spin a microphone in her hand; as far as rock’n’roll misdemeanours go, it’s not quite pounding an eight ball and trashing your hotel room.

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