LIVE. Natalie Imbruglia in London

Date: 11 May 2017
Venue: Union Chapel, London
Genre: Pop
Words and photography: Victoria Ling (Victoria@137imaging.co.uk)

Having released her album of male covers aptly titled ‘Male‘ in 2015, Natalie Imbruglia toured as a support to Simply Red but never quite got on the road herself.  Fast forward to May this year and she finally hit the road for her own headline tour around Europe, with an extra date added to London as tickets for the first date were like hot cakes and sold out Union Chapel almost too quickly.

I was very excited for this gig, as although Imbruglia’s career has been going strong since her first single, and absolute anthem ‘Torn’ in 1997, I have only seen her live as support, so I was pretty ecstatic when my friend and I got tickets. We arrived just before 6pm and the queue to the venue was already the full length of the street. There was a definite buzz in the London air. As soon as people took to their pews they were beaming as Union Chapel had you in awe.

As lights went down and the band took to their places the introduction had the audience on tenterhooks then there was a pause and Ms Imbruglia stepped onto the ‘stage’ with a ‘good evening’ to the crowd who were half and half ‘do we sit or do we stand’ in the church as ‘Wrong Direction’ started the night. As pews were quite tight we were in the mutual feeling to stay seated but that did not dampen the mood and when we were urged we clapped and sang along moving our bodies as much as we could. There really could not have been a more perfect venue to match the sounds of this Acoustic Tour, as people murmured around me, “I knew she could sing but she just sounds so much better,” as hits from all her albums were being delivered to us, such as ‘Stuck On The Moon’ and then breaking hearts into a million beautiful pieces was the cover of Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘I’ll Follow You Into The Dark.’ And this was just the first three songs. With every song there was a little story and with every story there was a whoop from the audience. I could feel the excitement of those around me when their favourites were played.

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A few surprises came and very welcome ones at that. Before the show many of us were discussing what we were hoping she would play and considering her favourite single non-single is ‘Smoke’ that of course made it in, much to the delight of those sitting right next to me. ‘Lukas,’ to me, was the biggest surprise of them all, as it comes from the not so critically acclaimed ‘Come To Life’ album. When you hear this live you do sometimes wonder how critics get to make a living, as it was delivered to perfection. And of course the 90s stomper ‘Torn’ was performed and gave us the biggest sing-along of the night. My personal all-time favourite Natalie Imbruglia song is ‘Beauty on the Fire.’  Unfortunately, the element of surprise was slightly dampened as people had told me it was on the list but when it finally came, the fire inside of me was ablaze and it was one of those moments where nothing else mattered but Ms Imbruglia singing that song live in the same room as myself.

Of course, definitely ready for anything on this night but the setting as beautiful as it was made us feel a bit restricted in terms of getting up on our feet, but in hindsight it also made it a beautiful affair as we sat and admired the true beauty of the setting and witnessing Ms Imbruglia strip back her songs for us.  Then after a lot of foot stomping and echoes for more, we really could not sit still any longer, as she returned to give us the beautiful ‘Butterflies’ to the slightly more upbeat ‘Intuition’, then ending the night on ‘Big Mistake’ – which was far from a big mistake.

I have enjoyed many concerts and a few I walk away saying that was one of the best but this night definitely was, as I have never sat through a gig smiling from ear to ear from the moment I walked into a venue to leaving.  Natalie Imbruglia is one of those artists that really does not get as much credit as she deserves and on the huge success of this tour, I really hope we get to hear and or course, see her live more.

 


Check out Natalie Imbruglia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

Through the eyes of Lil Vik

 

 

LIVE REVIEW. Jones at Hoxton Hall

Date: 3rd May 2017
Venue: Hoxton Hall
Genre: Soul-pop with electro
Words & Photography: Victoria Ling – victoria@137imaging.co.uk

Ever had an idea that looks perfect on paper and then when it happens you just think “this is actually crazy!” Well, I have had a few moments like this in my time. but on crazy scale this is near the top.

Tuesday 2nd May 23:50 hours, bus leaves Newcastle. It runs a little late and arrives into London 8:30am on the Wednesday.  This was fine by me as I had a whole day ahead of me. Fast forward to 7pm though and there I am at Hoxton Hall. From the outside it doesn’t seem like much, however I did not realize it had a floor and two tiers. Seeing as I had been on my feet for most of the day I went for Tier 1 above the stage. The only downfall was that the whole band was not in view, but to look down at the whole venue was a beautiful thing and we had the lady of the night, Jones center stage and that was all that mattered.

After waiting for nearly too long, the night began with Australian duo Geowulf and their dreamy pop sounds as people were still fluttering in deciding on if they had chosen the right place to enjoy the rest of the show.  The sounds of Geowulf, and their uplifting engagement with the crowd are sounds you can happily just put your feet up and enjoy.

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For Jones’ scheduled time the room was at capacity and you could feel the anticipation in the air. After a further 20 minutes of waiting not-so-patiently, it was a sigh of relief when the band of Jack Lawrenson (guitars) and Kieran Guy (drums) started playing and then when Jones herself stepped on the stage. A much-deserved rapturous applause welcomed her and the opening of ‘Rainbow‘ gets our hearts racing, with that big letter ‘J’ shining bright behind them all.

This night in May was dubbed as an ‘acoustic’ show but Jones tells us a few tracks in that during rehearsals herself and the boys got a bit carried away and that the rest of the night was going to be that little louder than previously advertised. We were treated to songs from her debut album ‘New Skin‘, released last October as well as a couple of new numbers from February’s ‘Acoustic‘ EP and recent collaborations. One of the biggest cheers of the night went to ‘Hoops‘ and a surprise mash-up of Zara Larsson’sLush Life‘ and Years and Years ‘Eyes Shut‘ took a lot of the audience by surprise and even had us pretty overwhelmed.

Seriously, is there anything Miss Jones cannot do?

13 copyLast year she put her own unique twist on Calvin Harris’s ‘How Deep Is Your Love‘ (and actually made me like the song!) As a songwriter, Jones is simple but poetic. As a performer, Jones mesmerizes you.  She’s one of those rare gems that could sing the phonebook and you would be in awe and her deliverance in the majestic Hoxton Hall adds that extra bit of magic. And just when the set could not get any better, we are graced with a choir for a few numbers. I am dumb founded like I am sure the rest of this sold-out is too as ‘Becoming, Walk My Way‘ and ‘Waterloo‘ are given to us.

Handful Of Gold‘ is Jones’ latest release in collaboration with Cazzette.  It’s a stomper of a track that takes you on another high. We are basically in a state of euphoria that when Jones leaves the stage and returns with just Jack for ‘Indulge‘ it was the perfect ending, that people were smiling as they were leaving and many waited around to make sure Miss Cherie Jones knew what a stellar job she did. I was on the verge of leaving the building as although people had trains to catch down the road, I had run for a coach back up to Newcastle and the next one was not due for another 8hours if I missed it. And as time had been on my side for the whole day, it would do so again that as I turned to leave, Jones came to see her fans and I got to thank her personally for a brilliant day in the Big Smoke and made it with 15minutes to spare and back to the day job not long after stepping off the coach.

 


Check out Jones’s ‘Acoustic’ here

Jones is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

Through the eyes of Lil Vik

ALBUM REVIEW. DOLLS + Fauxplay – ‘EAT IT UP’

Release date: May 20 2016

Rating:★★★★

We recieved a sneak peak into the booming, 80s-romantisised world of DOLLS in the form of EAT IT UP. This is an album that deserves to be heard, at least due to its background. The story behind DOLLS is an interesting one. Her journey began in Canada, after signing to Warner and gaining commercial success (even to the point of touring with Flo Rider), DOLLS decided it just wasn’t right. So she sacked it off and started from scratch in London with new-found friend and producer, Fauxplay. And it’s shaping up to be her best decision yet.

 

These two solo artists have united and created something distinct from anything they had done independently before. It took less then half a year for this duo to find their sound and their place in the world, and here it is: unapologetic, 80s fuzz-pop.

 

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image: dollsxx.com

Vocalist and songwriter, DOLLS, is perhaps best described as the musical lovechild of Depeche Mode front-man, Dave Gahan and Gwen Stefani. After living the high-life of Warner-funded success, she is now approaching the music industry from a different perspective. In fact, DOLLS is currently completely self-funded, and running off word-of-mouth promotion which definitely involves more risk, and will hopefully end up to be more rewarding to the DIY sensation. It is really refreshing to see a strong female independent artist do her thing off her own back.

 

 

 

Despite having ‘commercially viable’ music that could easily be swept up and supported by the larger corporate labels, knowing this about DOLLS, this album holds an almost humble vibe throughout, while listening.

 

This album demonstrates the sort of confident, unrepentant lyrics that you normally see in a groups second or third album, not on their debut (even if it is her second debut). DOLLS knows what she is, she knows what she wants, and she knows how she’s going to get it. This is emphasised especially in the tracks ‘In Control‘ and ‘Doing It Correct‘. She has the sort of iconic voice that I could easily see booming off the walls of underground London clubs following its release. She glides through the album with fiesty lyrics, surrounded by hypnotic synth lines and 80s-esk beats that take you straight into a modern party vibe, but with a sinister undertone.

 

 

So get your claws around DOLLS + FAUXPLAY’s EAT IT UP this Friday, it will do exactly as its title states – Eat you up and not let you go. 

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image: dollsxx.com
DOLL’s website is an experience in itself…dollsxx.com
You can also check out DOLLS on InstagramtwitterFacebook, and soundcloud

Also, give Fauxplay a follow on twitterfacebook and soundcloud

 

Baker out.