I approached Mika’s DVD ‘Live In Cartoon Motion’ on the basis that before now I have always found him a little bit precious in terms of being essentially a pop musician who catered to the less complex aspect of the market. In essence he always came across as something from that represented the ‘teeny brigade’ aspect. And while I can’t necessarily get past that being the wrong side of thirty I have to give credit where its due in terms of this live release.
Shot in Paris at the renowned L’Olympia venue in front of 4000 fans, the gig was shot by Matt Askem whose previous credits include working with Muse, David Bowie and Paul Weller amongst others.
That’s the first thing you notice about this DVD, the fact that it so spaciously shot. Mika is of course the focal point as you would expect but equal screen time is given to his onstage cohorts and in this case that proves a worthy addition because one of the highlights of this set is the interplay between the musicians.
Mika is to all intents and purposes a born entertainer, enthused with energy, he barrels across the stage with a relentlessly camp abandon only taking a break to sit down at his piano for a number of songs. Vocally he is more than capable live, only occasionally overstretching his falsetto vocals and just cracking on the top notes before he drops down into a more manageable range. The band themselves however are most impressive, tight woven passages of music form the backbone of this concert providing very faithful renditions of the hits and a suite of cover versions as well. So not only do you get the material from his album (Big Girls, Lollipop, Grace Kelly) but also you get his renditions of other people’s work, which surprisingly he makes his own (Sweet Dreams, I Want You Back being of note).
The package also contains a host of extras including all the videos and some exclusive acoustic performances as well meaning this is one densely packed release that is surprisingly compelling and if you’re a fan pretty much unmissable.
‘Live In Cartoon Motion’ is released on November 12th