Review by Social Hotcake
Lianne La Havas has been on my radar for two or three years now. Having been impressed by some of her big, powerful and unique hits that I had heard on the radio, such as ‘Forget’ and ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’, I was keen to find out more and watch her live.
This was the first time that I had the opportunity to see her perform and it felt like an incredibly lucky gig to catch. I’m sure that Lianne makes all of her audiences feel special, but it was irrefutably a very special gig for her. She called us all her family because she has family from South London, she drew references to an ex boyfriend that lived a few doors down and recounted a story about having been to watch Erykah Badu in 2011 at this very venue and was in disbelief that she was now standing in the same position on the stage as her. It was a delight to watch somebody who, not only has an incredible talent, but who is genuinely living one of the happiest moments of their life!
This gig exceeded my expectations on many levels. I was familiar with many more songs of Lianne’s than I had realised, which was a lovely surprise. The quality of her voice was an equally lovely surprise. Hearing her live truly is a different experience to hearing a polished recording of her voice. Silky dulcet tones with an occasional croaky vocal that gives her songs that extra kick of soulfulness, especially when accompanied by the gospel style quality of her backing singer.
She wore a glamorous, sparkly, sequined dress- a show stopper in itself that reflected the spotlights and lit her up like the star of the stage that she was. She had an 80s style bouffant hair do and had her guitar for the majority of the set. It doesn’t sound like a coordinated ensemble (and I doubt that many people could carry it off), but she looked awesome!
The stage setting was quite simple, with big planters full of Birds of Paradise, a signature motif of Lianne’s, being the main decoration. Something about the low spotlights that cast shadows of Lianne singing on the sides of the stage along with Lianne’s incredibly silky, soulful voice created the feeling of a sultry 1940s jazz club.
There were lots of treats, twists and turns throughout the night, including a mini cover of Pharrell Williams’ Happy mid way through a song, making this a truly memorable and entertaining evening. I have been listening to Lianne La Havas on Spotify solidly since Monday night, so I think that’s a job well done!