Review: Ella Eyre at O2 Guildhall, Southampton

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Marking the first date for her Feline Tour in support of her commercially successful debut album, FelineElla Eyre took to the stage at the O2 Guildhall in Southampton for an energetic and buzzy performance.

Opening the show was Flawes, beginning the evening with an unexpected dark tone. Impressive and moody, Flawes are a new band that showcased a big and confident performance. Exhibiting their own material, as well as covering Halsey’s ‘Hold Me Down’, the band demonstrated a Bastille-esque vocal combined with an attractively pensive set. Jasmine Thomspon was the second support act who, despite initially appearing nervous (an unsurprising front considering performing at the age of 14), developed her performance into a tender, Birdy-esque, ethereal sound. As well as singing original material, she also covered HAIM as well as her UK hit rendition of ‘Ain’t Nobody’.

It was then Ella Eyre’s turn to work the audience, opening with ‘All About You’ before transitioning into crowd-favourite ‘Comeback’. Sporting her staple jumpsuit along with intense (and occasionally both intrusive and overwhelming) lighting, Eyre slickly made her way through hits ‘Good Times’ and ‘Waiting All Night’. With her vocals disappointingly washed out by boisterous dance melodies, it was a welcome change when the 21 year-old departed from the stage and returned for more stripped-back tracks.

Tracks such as ‘Two’ and ‘Even If’, with their ballad-like constructions, allowed for the singer-songwriter to authentically showcase her vocal abilities. Although evoking a party vibe is clearly something that comes naturally to the artist, it was the slower tracks that were the most captivating moments of the show. Performing a tamer version of ‘Deeper’, Eyre hit the peak of her act with audience participation at an all-time high and her honest lyrics constructing a tangible crunch to her sound.

Moving through an edgier version of ‘Gravity’, an uplifting ‘Home’ and an infectiously catchy ‘Don’t Follow Me’, Eyre ended the main part of the show with the epic ‘If I Go’ – not before hinting at the fact that she would return for an encore. Closing with a cover of ‘Best Of My Love’, which added an intriguing disco element to the performance, and ‘Together’, Ella Eyre proved that she can certainly get the audience going.

The structure of Eyre’s set could do with some tweaking (the audience was bombarded with some overbearing dance, followed by a chunk of an acoustic set, before the artist perfectly settled with tracks that successfully bridged both a dance and rock-y sound whilst demonstrating great vocals). However, Eyre successfully pulled off a very powerful and sprightly performance, which both she and the audience – despite their rowdy nature – enjoyed.

Ella Eyre’s Feline Tour continues around England this week and next.

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Film & English student, Deputy Editor of The Edge and President of FilmSoc. Likes FKA twigs, BANKS and other capitalised artists.

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