Princess Chelsea – Powerstation: December 10, 2022

Princess Chelsea. We all know her wonderful Cigarette Duet which went viral with 82 million YouTube views since its release in 2011 on her first album ‘Lil Golden Book. What’s more, Yves Saint Laurent have selected Princess Chelsea’s song I Love My Boyfriend as the backing track for their 2022 winter collection ad campaign.

Chelsea has just returned from an extensive 13 country European tour (Turkey, Poland, France, Czech Republic, Romania, UK, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Austria). She told me that the highlight was her Bucharest, Romania gig with its unusual stage with a giant cage!

Today Chelsea’s Auckland fans are celebrating her new 5th album release Everything Is Going To Be Alright at Powerstation. On arrival at the venue, we were greeted by a spectacularly decorated stage looking a bit like a Christmas tree with swathes of flowers, jewels and tassels.


The support act tonight was Christchurch based Serena Close aka Mousey (the girl with the mousey hair). She too was promoting her new 2nd album My Friends with a strong focus on her friends and her relationships with them.

Mousey was accompanied on stage by her 3 piece boy band and started her set with her delightful observations on dating in One Dollar Wednesdays. She then upped the grunge setting with howling guitars as she launched into Bench in which she angrily vented her bad experiences with silly boys.

She explained that her job was to warm us up but it would all be downhill from here, but nothing could have been further from the truth as she continued her set playing the rest of the songs from the new album. She thanked the audience for not going to Guns n Roses or Christmas In The Park. Her band left her on stage alone to perform her last song Rachel (which happens to be the name of the person who accompanied me to the gig). Beautiful lyrics “We had the same feelings, we sung the same song, but the same kind of magnets can’t touch for too long” and ending with “I found a loser like me”. This slow and sad spell binding echoey ballad left us all emotionally drained.

Princess Chelsea

Chelsea, looking spectacular in Karl Lagerfeld pink and DMs was joined on stage by a 6 musician backing band, more than I have seen her play with before. Apparently these band members all went to music school together and Chelsea met them when she worked at Marbecks record shop.

The band launched the set with an older power ballad When The World Turns Grey from her 2015 album The Great Cybernetic Depression. Her expression changed from demure to slightly unhinged as she began the song with dreamy vocals but then half way through, Chelsea moved back from the front of the stage to her happy place behind the keyboard and all hell broke loose with the guitarists playing feedback and the effects pedals. As the song ended the young lady standing next to me in the audience mumbled “sorry, but that was amazing”.

Clearly the band have a real chemistry together and they introduced us to the catchy first song Time from Everything Is Going To Be Alright. Chelsea has described this as her “nervous breakdown album”. The tracks chronicle the beginning and end of a recovery process. Time continues with the lyrics “Tomorrow it will hurt a little less… it just takes time”. The audience were spellbound.

In fact the band played a mix of new and older songs throughout the set to the delight of the audience who sang along to the whole of I Love My Boyfriend from her 2018 album The Loneliest Girl. In the very long instrumental intro to Monkey Eats Bananas from 2009s Lil’ Golden Book, Chelsea played delightfully with percussion, clicking fingers, shaking maracas and especially with her xylophone, which has become her signature instrument.

The song The Loneliest Girl came over as strangely happy and upbeat unlike the following Pretty Ones which took another step down the unhinged rabbit hole in which the guitars were plunged into to stage to create eerie feedback. And then we were into the jealous lament that is Yulia with its lyrics “What do you see in him, how can you be with him?

In Everything Is Going To Be Alright we descended further down the slippery slope of melancholy. With guitar sustaining a distorted monotone matched by the wailing of sirens as Chelsea repeated over and over again, as if to try to convince herself that “everything is going to be alright”… and it was!

The last song before the inevitable encore was The Forrest, an anthem like scream for help which builds and builds to become a wall of sound that turned into rapturous applause.

We were then kindly treated to two more songs, both from The Loneliest Girl. First, the lovely Growing older and then, despite complaining about a croaky throat, Chelsea belted out perfectly at the top of her voice, with piano accompaniment, that she missed her man.

A special credit has to be made for Princess Chelsea’s multi-instrumentalist band members who helped make the evening super special:

Simeon Kavanagh-Vincent (guitars)

Jasmine Balmer (amazing guitar)

Joseph Kaptein (keybards)

Joshua Worthington-Church (guitars)

David Harris (drums)

Kate Tindall (vocals)

Review by: Michael Gunfeld

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Ivan Karczewski:

Princess Chelsea:


Princess Chelsea setlist: