Review: Little Boots (support: Ellie Goulding), HMV Picturehouse 25/10/09

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Myles Cowper-Coles looks at new star Ellie Goulding, whilst Samantha Field looks at new pop princess Little Boots. Ellie Goulding started off her set by going straight into Guns & Horses, an amazingly fast energetic song. The crowd seem captivated by her distinct voice and style of electronic music with lyrics that would be fit on any folk track. As she moved through her set list, it seemed to slowly dawn on the crowd just how good Ellie was. After playing the slow, yet emotional ‘Wish I Stayed’ (which was produced by Frankmusik), she moved onto her new single ‘Under the Sheets’. She started it off by hitting a drum while singing for the intro to great effect. The extra bass from this really helped to kick off the song, and when song speeded up and moved into the first chorus the crowd finally got out the trance they seemed to be in and got dancing. Ellie finishes off her set with Starry Eyed, a personal favorite, and had no trouble getting the crowd moving again.

It all seemed over far too quickly, and I did hear some mutterings that people preferred Ellie to Little Boots herself. Ellie’s first single ‘Under the Sheets’ is out on the 16th November.

As one of pioneers of the wave of solo female artists that have dominated the UK charts over the past year or so, Little Boots had a lot of high expectations waiting for her at Picture House. Having seen her about 8 months ago, when she played the tiny cab vol stage, I was interested to see how far she had come since her ascend to stardom. However, within seconds of her dramatic stage entrance in a cloud of smoke, we could tell that her transformation to fully fledged pop star was complete. With a natural confidence she bounded between keyboard, synth and tambourine, delivering an extremely professional, entertaining and well rehearsed show. The set list was well crafted, starting with one of her most catchy songs, Earthquake, and racing through the highlights of her album to finish with Remedy, a definite favourite with the teenager-strong audience. The entire performance was extremely well oiled machine, with lighting, sound and stage crew coming together behind Little Boots to deliver a flawless, energetic performance that contrasted heavily with Ellie Goulding’s organic, soulful recital. Boots herself is a born entertainer; in a pair of Lady Gaga-esque sparkly knickers she shimmered through several costume changes giving her multiple different looks, ranging from a space hedgehog to Pikachu. However, the most interesting costume choice was when she came back for the encore, without her keyboardist and drummer, wearing a big white hotel dressing gown. On a dark stage with a central spotlight she sat down at the keyboard and played Hands , followed by a new song she is working on, and finishing with an acoustic intro to Stuck on Repeat, which, predictably, turned into the full electro version after the first verse, complete with dramatic removal of dressing gown and return of the missing band members. The crowd could not have been more pleased with the performance, and after this sold out show next time she comes up to Edinburgh she’ll have to find an even bigger venue. She was named top of BBC’s sound of 2009 list as one to watch and I would say that judging by her performance in Edinburgh, we’ll be watching her long into 2010 and beyond.

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