On a damp spring evening, I took to the concealed four walls of Bush Hall to discover HP Connected’s secret show with Ellie Goulding. With the takeover of youtube the day before the show, you’d have had to bury your head in the ground to have not heard about it. They were advertising a free live feed straight from the show to watch. Unconcerned about the nuances of the technical world for a night, I threw my Smartphone aside, slapped on a loin cloth and packed my bindle for an old-fashioned night of live music.
It’s clear that the best environment to embrace Goulding’s brand of dance-pop is in a live setting, which is something a little different for the twentieth century mainstream. She began well, putting high levels of energy into those vocals and smashing percussion; the crowd responded well to it. The looser, more beastlike moments of the set are the highlights ‘Only You’, ‘Under the Sheets’.
Speaking of vocals exclusively; her confident croons on the more stripped numbers like ‘Explosions’ were impressive. When Ellie was more relaxed she enthralled, but unfortunately it seems as if she may have let the occasion get the better of her. At the sombre mid-points of the set, the vocals got a little lost in the otherwise space-like ambience created by the band.
As the night progresses, numbers like ‘Lights’ and that Elton John cover of ‘Your Song’ are brought into the fray. It’s here where the young audience start embracing the show whole-heartedly; writhing, and holding their drinks in the air and dancing in the same manner in which the London girl was herself. There was a moment in which Bush Hall resembled Vesuvius from the balcony above.
It was only at the frenzied ending when you realised how much of an idiosyncratic setting that you were embracing the music in. There were cameras flying from side to side in the fluorescent, intimate room, and it created a unique atmosphere for a show which had been seen by many in the comfort of their own homes. The end of the night is serenaded by the crowd singing along to Goulding’s mega-hit ‘Starry Eyed’.
To watch the set and highlights, follow this link.