If you ignore that I won Jessie Ware tickets last week, I actually never win anything. I never won anything in school and the like; but that’s alright. If you win tickets to see two of your favourite singers, it pretty much means more. I’ve never been to the Roundhouse, I’ve walked past it a few times wishing I could go in to see something magical. Last night I got to see Ellie Goulding for the fifth time. For free. I like free stuff, who doesn’t! Anyone who says they don’t is nothing but a liar.
We were stood right at the back, but although I’m awfully short- I had a pretty good view. I could rest my tired bones against the barrier and generally have the time of my life. I sang, did some little movements and had a nice time. It was a really special moment seeing Ellie; I first saw her on her very first tour and there were about 200 people in the room- to see her play venues like the Roundhouse was truly beautiful. When I first saw her, her shyness was somewhat holding her back, but her voice was more than enough. Now? Now she moves about on stage like a person in complete control. A woman with a vision that is hopefully inspiring others to do the same.
With only two records out (if you ignore the re-released versions), Ellie has this presence on stage that is found in the likes of singers that have been around for decades. This was my first time seeing Ellie in London, and as she’s a London resident- it was fair to say that this is the best performance I’ve witnessed of hers so far. I suppose in a couple of weeks when I see her at Hammersmith I’ll declare that as the best time I’ve seen her. There is something truly special about seeing a band/singer play to their home crowd.
From a personal point of view, when she sings songs about her dad I just go to bits. Not because I’m sad for her, but because I know what it’s like to have that loss. My loss is different to hers, but the songs cut to the very core. Fortunately this time I’m able to not cry at all because I’m just in awe of Ellie’s voice and how far she’s come. The thing is, she is able to write about these heartbreaking events in a way most would struggle with. To unleash them in this way and to not be afraid of being so open is a bloody brilliant trait to have. A trait most wouldn’t know what to do with. People are afraid to be vulnerable but there’s really nothing wrong with it. There is something wrong with thinking everyone is going to fuck you over. Ellie’s music, when she does songs like these, are a form of healing. The way she sings the songs that break your heart are sang with so much passion (obviously the same goes for her other songs, but you know what I mean.)
For me, Under The Sheets is always going to be the song I look forward to the most during her sets. It’s the song I remember seeing the video to on TV in late 2009. And she’s hitting this drum with glitter flying off and I was hooked. I’m not a fan of glitter, it must be said. There was something about Under The Sheets that, when I first heard it, I knew I was listening to someone who was going to be massive. I’m rarely right, but with this, I was! When I see her perform this live, it is pretty much the song that causes me to injure myself if I’m near a barrier as I like to use it as a drum. Did that happen last night? Yes. Is my hand really bruised and a bit swollen? Yes it is. If I’ve not got a minor injury after a gig, I’ve probably not had a good time. The bass drop during Lights is electrifying, I mean the whole set is. But the drop during Lights (Bassnectar remix) is amazing to see live.
Ellie’s band (Max, Joe, Chris and Simon) are amazing. Each of them makes you wish you had even a tiny amount of musical talent. All of them play with such love, and the energy all of them has is infectious. You cannot help but move your limbs around in a questionable fashion as you watch them play with all they have. Ellie and her band are tight; the musicianship they have should be enviable by others- making them want to be as tight as they are.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t really taken by her current single, Burn but after seeing it live. And yet again witnessing Ellie slay the guitar, I was blown away. She does it all. Her shy charisma on stage makes her easy to love because there is no pretentious vibe about her. She’s simply someone living out her dream, and to have watched her go from playing to 200 people to this was just magical. If you’ve never seen her live, let it be known you are truly missing out.