MISS KITTIN is the stage moniker of electroclash producer/singer/songwriter/DJ extraordinaire Caroline Hervé, one of a small number of characters who bring a sense of theatrics to the underground of electronic music. Having explored many angles of the genre throughout her two-decade spanning career, Miss Kittin tonight creates an environment that transcends divisions in music, fashion, age and gender, her audience reflecting the diversity of the different stages in her career – from the electro-punks to the ‘lads’ who wouldn’t have looked out of place in Ibiza circa 1999, from the teens to the middle aged.
Walking down into the sizable basement at XOYO in London, the air is thick with smoke, making it impossible to see anything beyond 3 feet. The smoke eventually subsides as the venue fills up and the crowd begin dancing to the warm-up DJ.
Fashionably late onstage, Miss Kittin emerges, veiled in white with a matching robe and wearing a futuristic cat mask. The stage is set out with screens at the side and back displaying projections throughout the night, including the “Tron”-like visuals taken from the video for new song “Bassline” early on in the set. Removing the veil and cat mask, Miss Kittin storms through new material from her latest album “Calling from the Stars,” receiving a massive and enthusiastic response from the audience.
There is a show-stopping moment where the music reduces down to a heartbeat, slowly joined by a piano into a medley of “Happy Violentine” and “Requiem for a Hit.” The performance is classically theatrical far beyond the normal boundaries of an electro gig, as demonstrated by Kittin’s costume change into a nurse outfit before bursting into hit track “Frank Sinatra.” During the track, Kittin pauses for a moment to ask the audience who are madly jumping and chanting, “Why do you all remember my most stupid song??” She’s talking purely tongue in cheek – yet another theatrical element that just goes to pull the audience deeper into the show.
“Rippin Kittin,” “Madame Hollywood” and even a remix/cover of Madonna’s “Vogue” all feature towards the tail end of the set. It’s interesting to see how the different pockets of Kittin’s audience are slowly merging together, and for closing track “Kittin is High,” they now move as one, arms raised in the air for the chorus, bouncing in unison.
As Miss Kittin leaves the stage after saying her goodnights, the crowds immediately start stamping and shouting for an encore. Miss Kittin returns, only to apologise for not having any material prepared for an encore, and she disappears again into the shadows. But there’s no better way to leave a crowd – just when they’re in the palm of her hand, she leaves them wanting more.