1990s R&B tastemakers TLC, featuring original members Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins and Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas, played their first-ever European show last night (9 May) at Koko in London. The show was ahead of their upcoming, self-titled album, their first since 3D in 2002, due in June after being funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign.
The group’s preeminence as role models of female empowerment, as much as for their succession of anthemic soul crossover hits, has had media outlets enthusing about the return of the now two-piece group. Fellow founder Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes died in a car accident in 2002, at the age of just 30.
Indeed, TLC’s massive 1999 hit ‘No Scrubs’ was deemed to have such a sonic resemblance to Ed Sheeran’s recent chart-topper ‘Shape Of You’ that the composers of the earlier song — Lopes, Kevin ‘She’kspere’ Briggs, Kandi Burruss and Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle — were recently added to the songwriting credits of Sheeran’s song.
At the Koko show, Watkins and Thomas opened with ‘Diggin’ On You,’ one of the hits from 1995’s CrazySexyCool, then went back even further for ‘What About Your Friends,’ one of the hits from 1992’s breakout debut album Oooooooh…On The TLC Tip.
The song list also included other TLC trademarks such as ‘Unpretty,’ ‘Creep’ and ‘No Scrubs’ itself, which finished the set before the duo returned for ‘Joyride’ and ‘Waterfalls.’