The charming Miss Banks is making me – and about five hundred others – a little frisky. Implausibly beautiful, she appears chiefly to be made of spandex, sass and w-bins. And, of course, she is made chiefly of her era. Striking, fluid rage that seems to have everything – and nothing – as its object is what Banks and her time are all about.
If you’re going to inhabit a moment, best to do it in a suit that looks to be made for a BDSM Body Pump class. In lycra of institutional brown with cut-outs of strip-club impropriety, Banks looks exactly as she should: rude, confusing and desirable.
Filling the moment with an erotic charge is easy work when you look like that. But, she who lives by the spectacle can also die by the spectacle. Banks’ dancers appear only slightly more accomplished than the chick who takes my (non-BDSM) Body Pump class; their lazy orbit across the stage does nothing to help Young Rapunzel escape the prison of her mid-level fame.
Banks should be a superstar; her one-hour set in Melbourne last Thursday helps us understand why she is not. Great talent and towering charm is choked by amateur stage-craft and, to be frank, a genuinely awful DJ. Dude. I’m in my forties. I shouldn’t be able to recognise all the songs he’s playing. But I do and ONE OF THEM IS ONE MORE TIME BY DAFT PUNK.
In a set that does not exceed than forty minutes, we hear ‘Esta Noche’, ‘Licorice’, that other one that isn’t the ‘212’ and, of course, the tedious ‘Harlem Shake’. Standing with a small but devout cohort of older hipsters Tweeting their way through a blast that was bound to end with THAT song, we go hashtag crazy when Banks finally commands an eager room to consume her vagina.
The ‘212’ is glorious. Until Banks segues into ‘Firestarter’ by the Prodigy and all I can think of is Keith’s piercings getting stuck in her lycra suit. Here, she diminished her own greatest moment in the pop culture with reference to a shitty and inferior nineties piece of crap.
Let this be a lesson, Azealia. You are sufficiently remarkable to move from the prison of mediocrity if you surround yourself with people who are better than, say, the Prodigy.