Arriving at Scala on Thursday, June 30 I felt an undefined mix of emotions, some where between excited anticipation and uncertainty. I’m not entirely sure why, maybe because I had only recently discovered the 19-year-old teeny-pop-princess about a year ago, or the fear that the young singer-songwriter from South Carolina may be another churned out manufactured starlet from the industry mould with catchy singles. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
As the venue filled up, with a range of people, from hipsters to teenage pop fans, a sleuth man appeared on stage with an acoustic guitar to provide a soft melody behind the murmur of the excited crowd; a low key buzz who the crowd barely noticed until a voice was heard on the mic. A bright, trendy looking, young man walks onto the stage; Bluey Robinson. He introduces himself with a ‘likeable’ energy that makes you immediately intrigued.
“Erm… I don’t have anyone to introduce me… so I’m going to do it myself,” he laughs. Bluey bounces out like a fighter to the ring. He’s clearly excited about the great show ahead of us tonight. And what a show it was.
With only an acoustic guitar backing him, Bluey blew us away with his renditions of Aloe Blacc’s ‘I need a dollar’, Bruno Mars’ ‘Grenade,’ Jessie J‘s ‘Price Tag’ and even a quick hit of Ghost Busters that had the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. Bluey also serenaded the crowd with his 2009 song, ‘I Know’, and had everyone bopping and two-stepping to his new single ‘Show Girl,’ even with just acoustics – now that’s talent. Look out for this ultra-catchy-soon-to-be-a-hit tune for the summer, which was produced by hit-making mastermind Labrinth.
Soon on the stage was 20-year-old Loick Essien, with the swagger and conidence of someone who had been performing for years. This was his time.
Performing first ‘Stuttering’, then ‘Love Drunk’, from his debut album Identity. Had the girls singing along word for word. Essien’s presence is reminiscent of similar ‘urban’ acts of today such as Tinie Tempah. Must be a boy thing.
Loick tried to keep his spectators and fans engaged by encouraging them to sing-along and ‘help out’ with the chorus, by the time Loick performed his third and final song for the night, his new single ‘How We Roll,’ his fans were more interested in recording the performance on their camera phones than actually contributing to performance, good thing his backing singer was equip enough with a strong set of lungs to belt out the chorus, with such a effortless, yet powerful voice, you couldn’t even hear the crowd.
No happy with a good performance for the night, Loick gave away a free pair of Adidas signed trainers to a lucky spectator… A lucky man in the crowd won them… they didn’t look like my size anyway.
Soon after, Alexis Jordan emerged from back stage in a J-Lo inspired rainbow tassel backless dress and big wavy hair. She looked stunning. This is the 19-year-old’s first UK headline tour, and she wanted to make everyone aware of it. Not only did she have a full band, complete with backing singers, two guitarists, and a drummer – she also had dancers. Four of them! Who all somehow maneuvered on the stage without causing a collision.
Alexis boldly captivated the audience with the blinding confidence of a diva in the making – she has obviously grown up watching the current greats, such as Beyonce, as she booty-shook and stomped her way around the stage.
The live band softened the tempo to give the crowd a rendition of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, but quickly bought you back to her ___ appeal and to your dancing feet, with her catchy electro-infused pop singles, such as ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘Hush Hush Hush’, although tracks such as ‘Laying Around With You’ and ‘How You Like Me Now’ reminded more of tracks that belonged on a Rihanna album.
Through out the night, her strong voice powered through the live band flawlessly, securing her as a voice not to be taken lightly or underestimated. Before leaving, Alexis treated the crowd to one last an encore song, her debut single ‘Happiness’ – there wasn’t a still body in the room, as the crowd shuffled and jumped along to the beat, in confetti.
Alexis Jordan’s self-titled debut album is out now.