ELLIE GOULDING. Hammersmith(Eventim) Apollo. 16th October 2013.

17 10 2013



I woke up at 6am yesterday morning with a pain in my head that made me want to cry. However when I cry, I get a headache. I didn’t want to disturb my girlfriend from her slumber. I took some tablets and hoped the pain would go away. I went to the sofa and slept for an hour. A bout of nausea took over. Being sick terrifies me. A migraine has never made me throw up before; until yesterday morning. I immediately thought, “I’m not well enough to go see Ellie.”

Nothing gets in the way of me and music. I napped it off, saw a pal in town and I was alright. To Hammersmith we went!

I’ve seen Ellie go from playing to 200 people to now, venues like Hammersmith Apollo. To see someone who seemed so shy on stage around 3/4 years ago to a person in complete control of their performance and crowd is just beautiful to watch. In the crowd you can see her manager and brother look on with such pride. Imagine being that proud of your best friend/family member like that. It is just a magical thing to witness.

There is no denying that Ellie has a magnetic stage presence. The second she walks on stage this insane noise erupts. It sounds like a pack of hyenas being let loose. This noise happens quite a few times throughout the night. What is beautiful about the whole thing is that there is no “typical” fan here. Everyone is of various age, race, sexuality, everything. Music is freedom, and that is pretty much reinforced here.

I was pretty sad that Under The Sheets is no longer on the set list, but watching her sing Guns And Horses with just an acoustic guitar, and having the crowd sing every word back to her was a glorious thing to witness. Her voice is evidently the strongest it has ever been, and her distinctive vocals is exactly what makes her stand out. From songs like I Know You Care to Animal you really do pick up on how strong her voice is. When she sings I Know You Care (a song about her dad) I’m immediately reserved back to that early early morning in 1995 when I was told my dad had died. A wave of numbness hits me, and to an extent watching her sing this song is like a brief hit of healing.

The set list now predominantly consists of new songs. Lights was a tame record with delicate subjects, but Halcyon although does stay with similar subjects the songs are bigger and truly come to life when Ellie and her fantastic band perform live. They all perform with everything they have, and the crowd fully get that. What is so good about seeing Ellie live is that she is so happy to be on stage. It doesn’t seem like “just another show” to her, and that’s why I’ve probably seen her six times so far. Each time has shown how much she has grown as a performer, and you sort of feel like a proud parent looking on. The way she slays the guitar on Burn at the end, the way she dances on stage and how she drums like a woman possessed is incredible to watch. To see someone put their all into what they do is always a brilliant thing to watch.

As much as I love bands that are made for dark and creepy basement bars, there is something really special about seeing someone you’ve been a fan of from the start go from small venues to places like the Hammersmith Apollo. The atmosphere was magical, and every time I see Ellie live I claim that time as being the best show I’ve seen of her’s. This was the first time I’ve seen a London crowd actually move, all too often they seem afraid to move and sing along; this show was the complete opposite. Also, her backing singers unleashed some excellent moves last night and of course putting the Bassnectar remix in the middle of Lights is always going to be a highlight. The drop is amazing. Ellie Goulding is someone who everyone needs to see live..once or even six times!

ELLIE GOULDING. iTunes Festival 22nd September 2013.

23 09 2013


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.