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Lianne La Havas - March 8th 2012 @ Coalition
It’s amazing how much an audience can invest in a voice. The phenomenon has always existed, and probably always will. Why though? Is it the sound itself, clean and simple or gruff and grizzled? The moods a voice can capture, and share with all those willing to listen is a powerful thing. Whether it was her Sound Of 2012 nomination, or just a chance to watch one of the most anticipated British songstress’ in years, a thunderous applause from a sold out crowd met Lianne La Havas as she stepped onto the stage. The musician. The voice.
The wonderfully appropriate violin toting, Marques Toliver began the evening. Singing with the velocity fans have come to expect, whilst managing a loop pedal and violin nestled into his neck is a task few try, let alone master. His voice filling the cavernous arches of Coalition even amongst the constant chatter of the excited audience. Not one to make things easy, the violin was finally changed for a xylophone and ‘sound of rain’ from the crowd participated clicking. A wonderful moment and a wonderful performance. If only the crowd has paid him more attention.
It was clear though, fairly or otherwise, that people were there for the headliner. A fact made clear from the spontaneous bouts of applause throughout Lianne La Havas’ opening track. An exciting sign of great things to come.
Great things did come too. Raucous applause rupturing the awed silence ushered in by her beautiful voice. A modest backing allowing her music to breathe. So effortless in it’s simplicity it was hard not to be stunned by the performance. Single ‘Forget’, the biggest diversion from the intimacy of her performance particularly engaging. A bouncy ode to an ex-boyfriend, full of joyous crescendoes performed with beguiling ease. A testament to Lianne’s perfectly honed voice that even during this ‘hate song’, her melismatic cries remained on point.
Between the talent and enthusiasm of both Lianne and her backing time flew past. Throughout though there was the same special collective silence that only music creates. A room filled with over 400 people, and not a cough or whisper to be heard. A moment that in all sincerity celebrates humanity as much as it does the music on offer. That said, it wasn’t long before the intimacy was changed up for the wonderful post encore ‘thank you’ most present will probably remember. Each member of her band, one by one playing the title track of her soon-to-be released album ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’ like one, ludicrously talented, jam. Even Marques Toliver returned to the stage to add his own charismatic howls to the jazzy furore. A wonderful evening and an incredible talent. Oh the powers of a voice.
Date: Tuesday 3rd April 2012