Review: Christine and the Queens at the Roundhouse

“I’m like the weird cousin you didn’t invite but she came anyway, and she ate all the food,” declared Héloïse Letissier during her electric performance at the Roundhouse on an unassuming May evening. 

The 27 year old, performing as Christine and the Queens, held the audience in the palm of her hand throughout the show, ensuring they laughed and screamed in the right moments and sung along with her melodious vocals till the curtains closed. (The metaphorical curtains, of course, the Roundhouse had none!) 

Since her artistic inception in London, where she was inspired by a group of drag queens to join the stage and thereby earned her namesake, Héloïse has been a rising success. The heralding of different identities and subversion of gender norms in Héloïse’s persona, a rarity in the pop industry, has made Christine and the Queens a symbolic figure for the LGBT community. A differentiation Héloïse tried metaphorically to highlight during her performance when she named two long stemmed roses after “Rhianna” and “Beyonce”. “This is me” she declared pulling out another flower to the roar of the crowd, making clear she and them were not one and the same. 

It was easy to see why Christine and the Queens has soared in the French music charts. The heady electronic beats and lilting, pulsating synth melodies kept the room alive from start to finish. Clearly not one to be cornered into any musical genre, the set sifted through electronic pop before dipping into house influenced tracks that kept the crowd dancing. Her performance was slick and textured by the flawless dance moves of her crew, who brought the stage alive with their synchronised energy. 

Héloïse was a lively and engaging performer, managing effortlessly to make the changing of her trousers midway through the show delightfully humorous. Her running commentary was almost as good as her vocals. Moments of the show were truly brilliant as music and dance blended seamlessly to create a wonderful synergy. Such brilliance was a sure-fire assurance that Christine and the Queen’s is not a name likely to disappear anytime soon.