Lilly Allen – by Karen Mcbride

Top Manchester photographer Karen McBride snapped this great shot of Lily Allen at the recent 2010 In the City.

We think it’s the best picture of the singer we have seen.

Sat in a Manchester chip shop and stripped of all artifice and of any hint of the pop machine she looks somehow more glamorous . The picture tells her story perfectly as she looks glam surrounded by the energy sapping strip light mundanity of 21st century UK.

The snap should be her next album cover. It captures her youthful glee and impish mischievous and her approachability- all too rare in the overly protected world of modern celeb culture.

Lilly Allen  is one of those pop stars that elicit extreme opinions from people.  There was a suspicion that she had it easy because of her father. But her music transcended this. She may have had the connections but she could also write great songs with words that were abrasively honest and hit a chord.

In proper punk rock style she is black or white. And that’s perfect. In these times of plastic smile popsters it’s great to have someone who actually wears her heart on her sleeve. Her Tweets are always great and her public spats are always righteous.

She also make great pop records, with gritty, grotty real life lyrics that capture the damp bedsit reality of sex and love. When she sings about being hurt it sounds like she’s been hurt. When she sings about sex it sounds like the reality and fumble of real sex and not the soap sud, soft porn that’s flogged to us by vacuous pop stars.

And that makes it sexier.

She has grown up in public and made mistakes and that makes us like her even more.

Karen McBride was out and about during In the City and grabbed the shot almost by accident s she recalls.

”ËœWhile working at In The City I felt the need for fish n chips, so my friend and I went into Leos’ on Oldham Street.

Now I follow Lilly Allen’s tweets and have them fed through to my iphone, so while I was indulging in my fish n chips, a tweet came through with a picture of chips n gravy, it came from Lilly’s tweet, I looked at it with my friend and realised the table the plate was on looked the same as the the one I was sitting at. So I quickly looked around and there she was! Lilly was sat at the table near me enjoying her chips n gravy. Sat there on with just two friends, not surrounded by PR people.

So I got chatting to her, asked `if I could take her picture she agreed. what a star.’

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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