The epitome of a pandemic baby, Bella Latham signed to Polydor over Zoom; her first song was released just sixteen months ago, and tonight is her first-ever headline gig.
That very first release, ‘Internet Religion’, condemns the damaging effects of internet culture in a perfect introduction to Baby Queen’s sound. Tonight, it finds a full circle moment as the set’s opening song.
Baby Queen’s nervous energy is palpable as she storms into ‘Raw Thoughts’, but it’s clear that the crowd have her back. In many ways, tonight’s show is just like a group of mates hanging out – the earliest arrivals taken backstage to play Mario Kart before the set. She may have launched her career during a lockdown, but the connection that Baby Queen’s found with her audience is impressive, and you can see how much it means to her. She’s leaning into the front row for hugs, accepting drinks, and taking people’s phones to film for them.
“The first time I felt like I actually fucking belonged somewhere in this world as who I really am was when I met you guys,” she says, to an appreciative cheer, before launching into ‘Wannabe’. Her latest single had only come out three hours ago, debuting on BBC Radio 1, but some of the crowd already appear to know the words. The song is about “embracing all the negative labels that people give to you,” Baby Queen explains. “This song is for us.”
Between songs, her chat is endearingly candid. “Let me level with you guys for a second,” she says, with all the ease of someone just chatting to her mates. “Get this – I was dumped in a park. A fucking park, right? For a supermodel. I was dumped for a supermodel.” The crowd respond dutifully with outraged booing, subsiding only when the infectious chorus of ‘You Shaped Hole’ takes hold.
The set then moves into ‘Fake Believe’, a satirical track that rips into bigotry and is reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need To Calm Down’. All of Baby Queen’s music is political – taking particular aim at the unattainable beauty standards she is “sick to death of being constantly fed.” ‘Pretty Girl Lie’ is an emphatic response to those standards, and takes on an anthemic power as the crowd sings along.
The closing song of the night, ‘Want Me’, comes complete with mosh pits and a flying giant Pikachu plush. Baby Queen descends into the chaos herself – the connection she’s forged with her fanbase online now finally materialised.
Baby Queen is set to play two more sold-out headline shows at London’s Omeara, she’ll be embarking on her first headline tour in April next year, tickets for which go on sale this Friday – November 12th
Baby Queen Tour Dates
Tue 19th – Brighton – Patterns
Wed 20th – Manchester – The Deaf Institute
Thu 21st – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
Sat 23rd – Glasgow – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Sun 24th – Newcastle – The Cluny
Wed 27th – London – Electric Ballroom