"You can’t help but feel captivated by her presence on stage." Poppy wraps up her UK tour with an unforgettable, eccentric show in London

Poppy’s latest material might trail deeper into electro-pop, but her KOKO show proves that she's still a metal girlie through and through.

Poppy live on stage
(Image: © Garrett Nicholson)

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An orderly queue of Dr. Martens and New Rocks line up outside of KOKO for Poppy’s final UK date of her latest tour. A Poppy audience isn’t much different to your usual emo crowd: diverse, charismatic and oddly kind, as the words “I love your outfit!” are ushered frequently between strangers. Given she's an artist with fans in the millions, playing at a venue capped at one and a half thousand makes the show feel like an extremely intimate experience. 

Mosh and circle pits quickly form as alt-rock outfit Wargasm take to the stage. Opening their set with boastful heavy-hitter Fuckstar, the band make their way through a setlist that throws out notable early hits, Backyard Bastards, Spit. and D.R.I.L.D.O to list a few. Simultaneously exploring their 2023 album Venom, Wargasm ramp up the vibes with their notoriously larger-than-life energy. 

In classic Poppy style, the singer-songwriter - born Moriah Rose Pereira - opens her set with distorted sounds of glitchy, dub-heavy electronics and a wave of flashing, bright white lights. Then, from the moment her blurred figure finally appears on stage, she and her excellent backing band takes us on an extraterrestrial experience, hitting straight into BLOODMONEY - one of Poppy's standout hits from her 2020 lockdown project l Disagree - as the crowd sings in one hushed voice: “What do you believe when no one is around?”

In a strange but entertaining twist, the famously eccentric artist uses an AI voiceover to interact with the crowd -  “I love you so much” it repeats, before going into new fan favourite, V.A.N. The Bad Omens collaboration attracted immense press following its release last month; ahead of tonight, fans muttered between themselves, betting with one another on the odds of BO frontman Noah Sebastian turning up. Sadly, not this time around. 

Whether its picking up the bass for Hard, slamming on drums for Anything Like Me or tapping into her keyboard synthesiser for Sit / Stay, throughout the set Poppy continues to remind us of her multifaceted talents. Gracing the audience with rare moments of her own (real voice) dialogue, she later asks, ‘Do you know how to dance?!’ for euphoric pop number Hysteria

Even with the usual band setup behind her, watching her live, you can’t help but feel captivated by Poppy's presence on stage. Cathartically twirling and marching her way around whilst playing a setlist of dreams, she throws out a mixture of killer hits from I Disagree to Zig

Crowd surfers move as one, desperately mouthing the words “I love you!” to their idol as they pass over the barriers. Bite Your Teeth is a late but certified highlight of the evening as Poppy chomps into an apple before launching it into the audience. Closing out a packed KOKO with the colossal, guttural-infused Spit before blowing a kiss to her audience and gracefully exiting the stage, she wraps up the final moments of her bombastic UK tour with a flirtatious bang. If Poppy is anything (and she is many things!), she’s an artist with an incredible ability to make metal feel strange and glamorous all at once.