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Music review

Betty Who

Betty Who

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow

Jonathan Geddes

It would appear that too many people in Glasgow had taken Betty Who as a question rather than a name. Fresh from a sold-out London appearance, the Australian (by way of California) singer faced a fairly sparse crowd at King Tut's, the sort of small audience that could make a burgeoning pop star simply go through the motions.

Ms Who - real name Jessica Newham - has plenty going in her favour, however, from the backing of RCA Records to a Katy Perry support slot later this year.

The 22-year-old still bounded around gleefully from the off, as if she was playing to thousands, and there was a terrific energy to the dance routines and high kicks punctuating the 45-minute set.

Such good spirits helped create a decent atmosphere, but Newham was best aided by the collection of songs she zipped through. This was the pop of the 80s, from the playful catchiness of early Madonna and the defiant feminism of Cyndi Lauper, slamming into the cool beats of Robyn.

There were a clutch of tunes here that could well be huge hits, including the teen movie heartbreak of Alone Again, the bold and brassy You're In Love and Right Here, which sounded like a suped-up Sexual Healing.

Yet even on such moments this wasn't pop presented as sexualised grind or strutting bravado, but as exuberant, somewhat off-kilter camaraderie. Her lyrics evidently touch upon crumbling relationships, but it was coated in a hopeful sheen that cheered the spirits immensely, right through to Somebody Loves You's summer-time vibe.

Pop fortunes are hard to predict, but she has both the tunes and personality to make her name.

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