Saturday, 20 November 2010

Live Review: Ellie Goulding 'Lights' up Southampton

Considering she was relatively unknown this time last year, Ellie Goulding has created an impressive buzz of excitement at the Southampton Guildhall this evening. The former town hall is packed with people of all ages, from those young enough to watch Blue Peter to those old enough to remember it the first time round.

Support act ‘Sunday Girl’, so called because no one knew her name when she worked in a pet shop every Sunday, takes to the stage to showcase her marvellous vocal talent. With a skilled control on her voice, some catchy synth-infused pop and a refreshing cover of club favourite ‘Tik Tok’, Jade Williams’ alias gets the crowd dancing. Unfortunately, much like at her old part-time job, Sunday Girl lacks much presence on the stage and with an unoriginal sounding voice puts on a pleasant yet unremarkable set.

The same certainly can’t be said for tonight’s main act though. Kicking off the show with a drumming session then moving on to the guitar and not to mention her iconic voice, Ellie Goulding perfectly demonstrates just how multi-talented she is.

Starting her set with some perfectly crafted electro-pop from debut album 'Lights', Ellie then seamlessly moves into some acoustic tracks. With the help of some atmospheric lighting and a carpet that screams Countdown and false teeth, the spacious venue suddenly feels more cosy as Ellie gives a rare performance of unreleased track ‘The End’ and her stunning cover of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’.

Despite a slightly cheesy MTV style promo video on the big screen of Ellie gushing about her love for her fans, the girl from Herefordshire comes across as very down to earth on stage. Letting the room in on the story behind songs such as ‘Wish I Stayed’ (about missing home during her short stay at university) plus some cheery banter with the crowd, Ellie helps to make the evening feel intimate and special for everyone in the room.

An encore of a new song from her next album gets a positive reaction but it’s the powerful rendition of chart hit ‘Starry Eyed’ - which surprisingly sounds even better live - that leaves the crowd happy in the knowledge that Miss Goulding will be sticking around for 2011.

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