Wednesday 20:00, Scala, London 22/3/17
This show was so long ago now that I can’t remember the ins and outs of it very well. However, I would feel as though I was living a lie as someone who occasionally writes about gigs if I omitted Krista Papista from this blog having personally witnessed her live in the flesh.
Literally what the fuck. In all seriousness, Krista Papista needs a TW. Never in my life have I come across anything this close to a visual depiction of a mental breakdown. I understand that there must have been something acutely conceptual going on here, but to the layman watching Krista Papista fall over her own gyrating hips half naked on stage howling along to an array of disjointed pop sound effects this was just too much to take in. Everything from the dramatic hurling to and fro to the dangerously low- rise skin- coloured leggings was awkward. It was too intimate. It was uncomfortable. The pathos evoked was too intense.
The performance got even weirder when Papista played her hit single ‘Boom Boom Bonny’, accompanied by a projected compilation of family photos. Not Papista’s own family. Too mainstream. These were pictures of the infamous ‘too good looking to be behind bars’ prisoner Jeremy Meeks, duh. What the lyrics ‘chase it chase it, grab it grab it’ have to do with Meeks or his immediate family, I can’t fathom. Although, after re-listening to Boom Boom Bonny online I gather that Papista’s protagonist also has a run-in with a prison cell, so maybe that’s the connection, but I doubt it’s that simple.
Maybe the problem here was the spectator. Maybe I just wasn’t ready (not that I was the only one to recoil…). I wouldn’t be surprised if Krista Papista is actually a genius, only to be truly understood on a higher plane of maturity and consciousness than that which I am currently operating. Who knows. One thing I will say is that Krista Papista was very punk and very badass. Also her use of conga interludes in between the trash- pop (not meant to be as insulting as it sounds) was actually quite good.
Fletcher really stole the show for this one. Not sure whether it was his birthday or something, but he was literally bouncing off the walls and had at least three of his own numbers which pleased the crowd very much. Also not sure of his whole ‘gone wrong’ aesthetic what with the face paint and the wig and the gloves and the fur hat, but I always have been a big fan of the Mighty Boosh.
Also, speaking of trigger warnings, Scala needs one above their fucking bar