Friday, April 16, 2010

Gig review: Ellie Goulding, Heaven, London

Ellie Goulding in concert (Photo credit: Katcha on Flickr)Elena Jane Goulding is limbering up. She throws back her head and shakes out her arms - like a boxer preparing for a fight - then she squares up to the microphone and belts out The Writer with as much gusto as her lungs will allow.

Ahead of the shows on her UK tour, Ellie has been meeting up with fans and going for a run… and it shows. Her performance is surprisingly physical, and her crop top reveals a healthily toned midriff. The bare flesh is too much for the men in the audience, who enter into a ridiculous stand-off in an attempt to attract Ellie's attention.

"I love you, Ellie!"
"I really love you, Ellie!!"
"I love you more than these guys!!!"
"But seriously, I DO love you!!!!"

Good grief.

Ellie Goulding in concert (Photo credit: Katcha on Flickr)Thankfully, a duel is avoided and the rest of us can concentrate on the music. Ellie's debut album, Lights, can be a little too polite to grab your attention but in concert even the weaker songs burst into life. The band don't just get their teeth into tracks like Your Biggest Mistake, they chomp at them until they're leaner, rougher, harder. Conversely, an ethereal acoustic take on Wish I'd Stayed is a massive improvement on the overly-fussy album mix.

The highlights, predictably, are the singles. Ellie is hoarse with passion on Guns And Horses, while Under The Sheets gains an explosive instrumental coda, as the 23-year-old pounds ferociously on a lonely drum.

Getting rid of all that pent-up energy seems to be theraputic. Ellie signs off with the ebullient (and uber-posh) "Thank you for being so bloody brilliant", then disappears into the night tweeting "Happy innit?"

Us too, Ellie. Us too.

Ellie Goulding in concert (Photo credit: Katcha on Flickr)Setlist
Every Time You Go
This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
Guns and Horses
Your Biggest Mistake
The Writer
Salt Skin
Under The Sheets
Wish I Stayed
Roscoe (Midlake cover)
Starry Eyed

[Photos on this post courtesy of Katcha on flickr]

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