Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
12:03 PM 8th July 2024

Mika Bouncing Around Warwick Castle

Photo: Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Mika Photo: Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
In the 17 years since he exploded into the charts around the world with the epic bounce-along anthem Grace Kelly, Mika has proved himself as one of the most versatile live performers on the circuit. With six studio albums under his belt, he is a multi-lingual super talent whose move into television may have started in other countries, but now people see him in living rooms as part of the hit series The Piano. After releasing the Europop dream collection Que ta tête fleurisse toujours last year, he launched the Apocalypse Calypso Tour in February, which has now reached its summer phase and landed at Warwick Castle.

Before the man himself hits the stage, the two-hit wonder Princess Superstar propels herself centre stage with her 2007 hit Perfect (Exceeder), which has enjoyed a second life thanks to the creep-fest Saltburn. Princess Superstar, evidently enjoying the moment, delivers a low-production-value set that makes it all the more enjoyable. While she semi-slates her other big hit, 2002’s Bad Babysitter, she takes the chance to showcase some new material, including the future classic High High Heels, before closing her set with a reprise of the song that has given her career a fresh start.

Princes Superstar
Photo: Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Princes Superstar Photo: Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
As Mika descends the castle stairs to the stage, the audience erupts into a frenzy, launching into the lush Origin of Love. His impeccable sense of style shines this evening, and his vocals are on point, but more importantly, his connection to the audience is immediate. Mika may be a global icon, but his strength is in his ability to make a castle courtyard seem like a living room. Choosing to speak with individual members of the audience throughout the show while also sharing insight into his own life, this is a big-scale show that is beautifully crafted in its intimacy.

While there is no denying that big hits like Grace Kelly, Popular Song, and Relax (Take It Easy) get the audience going, it is when he really breaks that fourth wall that the audience gives their biggest outpouring of love. Bringing Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) into the audience and singing it with his fans is a class moment, while his touching tribute to his late mom on the epic bop Elle Me Dit is a real standout. With his sister in the audience, he reveals the story behind the coming-out song Billy Brown and its connection to her ex-boyfriend before blowing the audience away with his rendition.

Photo: Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Mika Photo: Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
As he bounces off stage following the irrepressible Love Today, it is returning for the moving Any Other World and chant-a-long We Are Golden that close a truly epic night. Castle courtyards are grand places that are hard to own. Mika made it seem effortless.