I first came across Lianne La Havas back in 2012 not long after she released her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? I bought the album just before I went on holiday to Italy in the summer and I remember lying on the beach listening to it for the first time thinking how amazing her voice was. It became the soundtrack to my holiday and I had it on constant repeat. I saw her live for the first time in 2013 at the Manchester HMV Ritz and it brought her album to life.
I have been following her career ever since. She has been a bit quiet the last couple of year’s when she was writing her new album, but it was worth the wait. She released her new album “Blood” early this year and she was nominated straight away for numerous awards.
Lianne came on to the stage with cheers from the crowd. She began her set with quite a few of her most recognisable tunes, opening with the upbeat Green and Gold from her second album Blood, then the jazzy carnival of Is Your Love Big Enough. The sense of a party was immediate, with the eclectic crowd - showing the breadth of the singer's appeal - was dancing at once.
It was a well-balanced set, with almost seamless transitions form earlier folky, acoustic numbers such as No Room For Doubt to her signature cool soul-funk tracks. The punk-rock rasp of Never Get Enough took the audience on a surprise detour, a welcome injection of energy after a couple of more subdued numbers, although the her head-banging felt somewhat out of place in the gig as a whole.
Although she managed to elicit some polite whoops of delight from the crowd, the real measure of La Havas’s talent was her ability to leave everyone spellbound in the moments where her instrumental and vocal prowess were allowed to shine unadorned. Her unaffected excitement and enthusiasm added further to the appeal.
La Havas ended with a rendition of her Lost & Found from her first album. The crowd stayed silent as she belted out her soulful song. She finished with her breakthrough track Forget. The scuffed-rock strum and a slinky chorus left the audience on a high, and she clearly relished this chance to sing it on home turf.
I’m going to see her at the Royal Albert Hall in March and can’t wait to see such an amazing performance once again from here. I’d highly recommend listening to her album “Blood” https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/blood/id986317401