Mr Hudson/Noisettes, Hard Rock Cafe, London | Pop review

Hard Rock Cafe, London

Mr Hudson
Mr Hudson and the Library, who made a small noise in 2007 with their quirky lounge-cum-dance debut A Tale of Two Cities, have been downsized to just Mr Hudson these days. Just as well - his upcoming album is produced by Kanye West, who recently boasted that he never reads books. Hudson, an Oxford graduate, obviously does; that's what gives his opening set its appeal.

Although he looks like Eminem, Hudson is pure tweedy Brit, suggesting we might have heard the new single, Supernova, "on the wireless". Yet his band are as funky as anything you'll hear this side of the Atlantic. His reedy crooning suggests there may be more than one Bryan Ferry album in his collection, but as he sheds his inhibitions and gingerly dances, he turns into something closer to a blaring Bono. It's incongruous enough to make Hudson worth keeping in mind.
★ ★ ★

The Noisettes
By contrast, Noisettes frontwoman Shingai Shoniwa is loud and exhaustingly perky - pop's answer to Davina McCall. She skips among the Hard Rock's memorabilia displays, singing the cute Atticus from atop a case containing Jimi Hendrix's jacket. It's hard to convey her indefatigable cheeriness, which, once you get used to her, is more endearing than you'd expect. Her band, meanwhile, seamlessly switch from the frenetic party-pop of Don't Upset the Rhythm to the playful rockabilly of Don't Give Up. They're so good the Hard Rock should start collecting Noisettes memorabilia now, while it's still cheap.
★ ★ ★ ★

• Mr Hudson plays the Glastonbury festival on 26 June. Noisettes play the Isle of Wight festival tonight. Then both tour.


Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

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