Ellie Goulding @ O2 Academy – 3rd October
The first rule of being electro princess Ellie Goulding is: don’t turn up for soundcheck (only because of delays on the M1). The second rule of being Ellie Goulding is: don’t use lasers or smoke machines to distract from your magnificence on stage. The third rule? Sing beautifully.
But before any of that, we get to experience the unique pleasure that is Lulu James. Teaming a daring black body suit with a gold-chain head piece, she put the audience in a trance with her powerful soul voice and futuristic indie-electro beats; with the help of her guitarists and men with macs.
Right on time, Ellie ventures on stage for the first night of her UK tour, spangly outfit and all, and surges into the dub-tastic ‘Figure 8’; the Ellie Goulding ‘Barbie’ set completed by her silver glittery drum kit. She’s a woman of few words is our Ellie, but the sentences she does utter are undeniably cute and endearing, such as “you’ll have to forgive me; I’m a bit shy tonight”. She may be shy but her songs aren’t. Her electrodub-infused tracks shake you to your spine, transporting you from the bright woodland of ‘Starry Eyed’ to the bonfire night fireworks of ‘Explosions’.
A polite silence drops over the sold-out room as Ellie produces an acoustic guitar and serenades us with ‘Guns And Horses’, smiling along to every note, stopping briefly after to dry her face in the fan; checking with her band that “it’s hot in here, isn’t it?” Her stunning vocals range from audaciously strong to chillingly subtle; displayed perfectly during her cover of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’. Nothing could have been better received.
Her 90 minute set flies by with offerings of such beastly tracks as ‘Joy’, ‘Only You’ and ‘Anything Could Happen’ (the latter sparking excited screams from the first note).
Closing the show with dance extravaganza ‘Burn’, one thing’s for sure; if the first rule was “do NOT talk about Ellie Goulding”, after that show; we’d all be breaking that rule. Katie Memmott
Words: Katie Memmott
Pictures: Robin Burns