KATY B, XOYO – Evening Standard, 2 Oct 2013

Where else would Katy B choose to make her live comeback but in a nightclub — a bustling black box with exposed pipes and blue fairy lights where the speakers rattle your ribcage. Kathleen Brien did her growing up in such small-hours hideouts, becoming a vital player at former pirate radio station Rinse FM before taking her accessible mix of all the dance styles of the moment into the charts.

Unlike other singers who adopt vogueish sounds to cling to relevancy, she is her audience, voicing their hard-partying experiences from first-hand knowledge of the centre of the dancefloor on hits such as Katy on a Mission and Lights On.

At her first headlining show supporting a second album due later this year, there were signs that her new material is more about the morning after. Next single 5am found her coming home needing “somebody to calm me down” over synths with a hint of darkness.

The biggest shift came on Crying for No Reason, a piano ballad that initially was lost amid distracted chatter, before the crowd realised that an extraordinary vocal performance was going on in front of them and ended up giving the loudest cheers of the night.

She revealed that her new album will be called Little Red. It was easy to understand why when this tiny 24-year-old bounced and shimmied, her striking hair acting as a beacon to the audience members mirroring her moves. There was still plenty of fun to be had with new songs such as Next Thing, with its retro Nineties sheen, and Hot Like Fire and its huge drum and bass chorus. Clubland still has its queen.