08 January 2008 (gig)
27 January 2008
Rising punk-pop starlet Kiria took to the stage at Madame JoJos just before Christmas to rapturous applause in a red rubber dress, with her fellow chic chick, bass player Taylor, matching her with a studded black number. She was introduced on stage by two sexy burlesque dancers, with her male backing band hammering out a sleazy intro befitting the venue.
Kiria stormed into her numbers, punk rock with bittersweet lyrics, not so much girl power or even riot grrrl, rather Marilyn Monroe-tinged sweetness with a Kill Bill edge. She has a powerful live presence, matched with some clever, angular punk riffs from lead guitarist, Robert Marche (ex Subway Sect).
If you haven’t heard of her yet you are likely to in the next few months.
With a guest appearance on the new series of Strutter on MTV (Strutter being comic Paul Kaye’s latest creation – a coke-snorting nihilistic entertainer, a humorous take on Sean Penn’s character in Carlito’s Way) this six-foot leggy blonde pens her own songs, designs her own clothes, finances her band and promotes her own fashion label.
She is set to release her first official single, Live Sex on Stage, on Feb 4. The song is a withering attack on the music industry’s manipulation of sexuality for financial gain, which she has direct experience of, having been offered all sorts of deals if she will exploit her image – which, she has rejected in true punk fashion with two-fingers in the reverse direction!
It’s refrain (Live Sex on Stage – it’s not about the music/they forgot about the music) has been misinterpreted by some, who may miss the lyrical content of the verses in all the raucous thrashing of guitars and drums.
And it's her lyrics that stand out, even though her sexy stage presence is the first thing people notice. Songs such as Alright, Make Up and Anything for Me are feisty romantic musings, often disparaging of the usual type of man she encounters, who she is either fending off for being a sex-pest or being let down by if they do pass muster.
But far from being anti-man, there is the longing for true romance, though, if Kiria's songs are anything to go by, it would probably be of the Tarantino kind.
But then this catwalk queen is up for the fight. While the upcoming MTV appearance will certainly garner a new audience, it is the live performance and her bolshie personality that will challenges stereotypes and demand a reaction.
It’s hard to imagine anyone not putting forward a strong opinion about her one way or another. Her songs are slices of infectious pop that have already gained her a loyal fanbase and it’s great to know that in a world of z-list celebrity, reality tv and exploitative images, there is still room for individual talent to shine.