The Funky Deli | Aaron-Spencer C: Live performances are always the reference point used to determine whether an artist is truly serious about their craft. It is this vital 60 minute set that can place a performer on to a pedestal of musical excellence, or leave them without much of a fan base .
In the case of soul-folk singer Lianne La Havas, her lengthy live performance at Village Underground in east-London on Tuesday night, proved that she was capable of giving a quality musical offering.
The 22-year-old south-London native has made her way up the popularity scale ever since the release of her first EP Lost & Found in 2011, followed by a string of live shows and a performance on the BBC’s Later…with Jools Holland.
Tuesday night’s show was the ultimate example of an artist immersed in giving their all on stage. With her guitar in hand and a kitted-out live band to back her, La Havas took to the stage with a humble confidence and kicked off her set with tracks from her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough?
It’s easy to get lost in Lianne La Havas’ aura of musical essence – she subconsciously makes you aware that she is a true musician, capable of arresting the audiences’ attention.
The personal experiences of La Havas’ emotional rollercoaster with her ex-boyfriend, take her songs to a level where it’s difficult for the crowd to not understand her heartache. Her live rendition of the track “No Room For Doubt”, was an acoustic trip down memory lane, where La Havas put her true feelings from her past relationship out for all to witness, with clear vocals, which could have matched up perfectly with the recorded version. “Forget” – one of the more upbeat tracks about her break-up – got the crowd jigging along to the guitar strums and that recognisable powerhouse note foudn in the chorus.
La Havas showed her cheeky charisma on the acoustic number “Age” – a light-hearted tale about falling in love with an older man, while “Tease Me” brought intimacy into play. There was even an acoustic ode to soul singer Jill Scott, as Lianne performed the singer’s infamous track “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)”.
Throughout the night, La Havas was a talented free spirit, showcasing how she could be bubbly and engaging with her fans, as well as make light of minor awkward situations (plucking the wrong guitar note) – all qualities appreciated by those who turned up on the night.
Most notably, the distinctive lyrics that cascade throughout Lianne’s work are what grip the audience emotionally. The strength in each line of every verse creates an audio-biopic, in which both women and men can grab a recognisable experience to relate to. La Havas remains a portrait of the everyday-girl with a lot of life experience in love, albeit young.
La Havas has proven that acoustic vocals win over true music lovers. Her ability to play guitar can be compared to a stream of flowing water; it comes naturally and separates her from her current British counterparts (she has been loosely compared to Adele). Pair the south-London native’s guitar fiddling with powerfully emotive lyrics, and the result is a concoction of soothing melodies, heart-sinking familiarity and upbeat guitar strums with a like-minded live band.
With her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough currently positioned at No.4 in the Official UK Chart, and likely to remain in the Top 5 for a second week, Lianne La Havas will undoubtedly continue to ripple humble waves of authentic talent, backed by charisma, as she records more material.
A true gem from the school of sincere artistry, who is likely to continue to sparkle as she continues her journey, creating more musical material.
To keep up with Lianne La Havas, visit: www.liannelahavas.com // Recommeded listen: “Forget”, “No Room For Doubt”, “Age”, “Tease Me”.