Saturday, 19 March 2016

Lianne La Havas - Royal Albert Hall 14th March 2016

I was disappointed not to get tickets to see Adele this week but booked long ago were my tickets for Lianne La Havas at the RAH. 

This was a major event for Ms La Havas and she was excited and humble at the chance to be there.  This girl has it all.  Great songs, tone, voice and attitude.  She is working with a more than capable band and filled the room with her two excellent albums "Is Your Love Big Enough" and "Blood".  The lighting was understated but complemented the mood and sounds and the crowd were quiet and respectful when needed and more reactionary when required. 
Highlights for me were "Unstoppable" a song that took me sometime to embrace when it led the release of "Blood" but its slow build underpinning her soaring vocals was a thing to behold; "What You Don't Do" and "Green and Gold"; my favourite "Midnight" and, with tongue in cheek, "Old" evidence her understanding of engaging with her wider music buying public and showing that she isn't afraid to mix it up a bit between styles.

A "surprise later" was promised and those who have followed her probably dreamed of Prince appearing for some show stopping finale.  More fittingly was the introduction of her school choir and the music teacher who was given credit for the early nurturing of this amazing talent.  Fitting as it was, this was no simple nice gesture, as they worked their magic providing further room filling sounds to the already building band presence.  Forget big star cameos this was a stroke of genius and a great way for a humble south London girl to payback those who contributed to where she is whilst giving something more to her audience. 

two finales followed first with the choir and then a solo cover of "Say A Little Prayer" - the start of a verse fumbled, like a trouper she continued to the full approval of an audience won over.  It was mesmerising (and can be heard on Soundcloud - I recommend it).

"Forget" is a rousing last song and a good way to end a real event of a night - it was obviously something to remember for Lianne La Havas as much as for those who witnessed it.  A real gem of an evening.

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