Live Review: Dora Jar At Lafayette

The alt. pop star's sold-out rocking London show, elves and all, comes at a pivotal moment in her career.

Now more than ever, as top-tier success seems possible in the blink of an eye or the loop of a TikTok, when an up-and-coming artist comes within tantalising touching distance from it there is alway a show that feels pivotal — as if marking the end of this stage and ushering the next. 

Dora Jar’s sold-out show at Lafayette in London last night felt like one of those moments, playing to a packed, 600-person capacity room equally filled with music business types and super fans that had themselves scouted the Californian artist since her early days. But it wasn’t about size; in fact, only last month the 24-year-old played New York’s mammoth Madison Square Garden whilst supporting Billie Eilish, who along with the likes of Elton John has been championing Jar and her esoteric pop style.

Dora Jar - It's Random (Official Visualizer)

With her ragged dress and doll-like eyeliner, Jar carried the air of a character plucked from somewhere between Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss, and played up to it at times, adopting a ballerina-like poise and posture, or introducing the 90s-esque pop rock banger ‘It’s Random’ with an affected English accent: “It’s random, it’s rotten, it’s ridiculous!”

And though there is a bizarre moment where she tries to explain a comment in a recent Billboard interview in which she claimed “I’m made of elves and so is everybody else,” for the most part Jar embraces her eager reception with wide smiles and head-banging raucousness — not least on the euphoric closer “Polly”. Though her first ever show was less than a year ago, her on-stage energy is dynamic and agile as her songs are eclectic, flitting from side to side, leaping and bounding, and on the explosive ‘Multiply’, even unplugging her guitar in the process.

“London is my favourite city”, she tells us from the floor where she sits before the heartbreak ballad ‘Garden’. It might risk sounding fawning, ripped straight from touring 101, but as the place that launched her career and tonight cements it, we believe her.

Dora Jar is playing at The Great Escape Festival, which takes place in Brighton from 11-14 May. Get tickets here.