Live review: Lianne La Havas Support from Ady Suleiman @ Rampworx Thursday 30th May 2013
Lianne La Havas at Rampworx Skatepark
Lianne La Havas is a Singer, Songwriter and Multi-instrumentalist who has previously been described as the UK’s answer to Alicia Keys. I’d say she’s that and considerably more. Lianne’s music is soul driven and melodic and it is no wonder that she was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2012, an award that, in my opinion, she should have won. Her debut album ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ is one of the best albums I’ve listened to in years.
I’ve been a fan of La Havas since I first witnessed her stripped back performance of ‘Age’ on Later… with Jools Holland in 2012, so I was absolutely ecstatic when I was provided with the opportunity to see her at an intimate gig at Liverpool Rampworx Skatepark.
The night was the third Nokia Lumia Live Session, a series of gigs with the intention of promoting the new Nokia Music service, which comes pre-loaded on all Nokia Lumia handsets. The idea behind the service is to provide a free music streaming service for all Nokia users. It’s similar to Spotify for mobile, just without the monthly fee. I’ve been trialing it for a few days and it’s actually pretty good. It works on a playlist basis which can be quite annoying, but it does give you the opportunity discover new music. For example I downloaded the Liverpool Bands playlist, and to my surprise it didn’t feature any Beatles tracks, but instead included bands like Coffee and Cakes for Funerals.
But back to the gig, Nokia is working with La Blogotheque for the sessions of which the premise is to provide intimate gigs in unusual venues. A skatepark in Bootle with 150 people is no exception to this ideal.
Ady Suleiman with Ed Black
Up and coming R’n’B artist Ady Suleiman provided support on the night and kicked things off nicely. If you haven’t had the pleasure of coming across Ady before you should definitely check him out. His voice is soulful and warm, his lyrics are intelligent and his guitarist (Ed Black) has some serious skills on that acoustic Farida of his. This guy needs to get an EP/Album out asap, I need him on my iPod. ‘State of Mind’ was a real highlight of his set and he left the stage, or in this case ‘bowl’ perfectly set for Lianne La Havas.
Lianne La Havas
After an interval of about 30 minutes, largely occupied by watching a 10 year old do back flips on a micro-scooter, Lianne made her entrance into the bowl. Taking hold of her almost iconic black and white guitar she began to work through tracks such as ‘Lost and Found’, ‘Tease Me’, ‘Forget’ and album title track ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ Throughout the entire set La Havas exuded real class and elegance. The performance of soul ballad ‘Gone’ literally stunned the room to silence and left me feeling like I was in the presence of a future superstar. Finishing her set on the ever-popular ‘Age’ Lianne was escorted from the bowl to great applause, before being ushered back into the bowl for an impromptu encore.
This was no average encore though, and it was without any doubt my absolute highlight of the night. Instead of heading back to the make shift stage area, La Havas simply stood tall, crowd lounging around her, and began to belt out a completely acapella version of ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ accompanied only by the clicks of the surrounding audience. Astonishing!!!
Liam Pickup is a music blogger/reviewer with a keen interest in the Liverpool Music Scene. Posting all of his reviews on his 'LiverpoolGigReview' Facebook page, he hopes to grow his audience organically. Liam lives in the Huyton area and in his 'real job' works as a fashion retail manager for an International brand.