First night at the iTunes festival this week to see Ellie Goulding. I got two tickets for this one and two for Madness tomorrow evening. As Sarah wanted to go and see Madness I agreed to take Lissi to see Ellie tonight. It took us a while to get across London but once we got to Camden I managed to find somewhere to park quite easily and from there it was about a 10 minute walk to the Roundhouse. We stood in a queue to have our tickets checked and were then given wristbands before being allowed upstairs.
The support band were Haim, three sisters from LA who I thought were quite good. They played some rocky songs which were better than the slower numbers they dropped into the set every now and again. When they were going full tilt they sort of reminded me of Neil Young and Crazy Horse when they’re off on one of their extended grungathons! They did a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well which was a good example of what they can do with all members throwing themselves into it. The bassist is a bit mad though – think she must have been the one their mother dropped on her head as a baby!
After a dash to the bar, leaving Lissi in situ to keep the place, we were ready for Ellie Goulding. They’d set up all of the band’s equipment on risers at the back of the stage leaving lots of room for the singer down the front. When she came on it was odd – she had on what looked like leather shorts and a pvc jackets but she kept the hood up for at least the first two and a half songs. In addition to the hood there was no lighting on her from the front for most of that time leaving her a silhouette on the stage. Thankfully in the middle of the 3rd song the hood came off revealing her hair braided against her head – from the back it must have looked like she shaved off her blonde locks!
The opening half hour of the set seemed to be composed entirely of new songs. I have to confess it wasn’t what I was expecting. I’ve only heard the first album once but always thought her music had acoustic folk-like tinges to it but tonight there seemed to be a much more electronic pop sound to it. The music seemed to be driven by the three sets of keyboards around the stage and I got the feeling that the musicians could probably have been dispensed with. the songs seemed to start and stop according to the computer’s timing!
The set seemed to pick up momentum after she played her cover of the Elton John classic Your Song. She, in her own words, skipped around the stage a lot. Again I was expecting to see her playing the guitar but she didn’t go near one all evening. I started to wonder if she was being “re positioned” as a pop diva rather than the singer songwriter image she has had up until now. This was summed up in the middle of Starry eyed when she pulled off the pvc top and finished the song in just her bra and shorts. She didn’t really look very comfortable and at the end of the song she grabbed her top and left the stage. When she returned for the encores she had put it back on again and told the audience she got carried away!
Don’t Say a Word
I Know You Care
Under the Sheets
Anything Could Happen
Dead in the Water