Live Review: Ella Eyre (Rescue Rooms, Nottingham)

Photo: Mike Burnell (

Ella Eyre is one of those elite few that are born to be a star. Having amassed a Brit Award, Critics’ Choice nomination and a feature on one of last years biggest singles, Ella is one of those artists that everybody knows about before she’s even released her debut single. The heavy weight of hype is a potential career-killer, but Ella mischievously sneaks onto the stage without a care in the world and leaps, quite literally, into ‘Don’t Follow Me’, one of the standouts from the set.

Spunky soul is the flavour of the evening with the opening track boasting fiery bursts of vocal prowess, backed by two ladies who both know how to belt out a tune in their own right. The mixture of the intense and melancholic piano with the bouncy vocal lines works some slick magic and the infectious vibe of the track doesn’t leave you for long after. The obligatory crowd sing-a-long is adopted by the equally as brilliant ‘Worry About Me’ – the two sounding like future classics alongside Ella’s cover of the huge Basement Jaxx smash ‘Good Luck’. If you weren’t familiar with the song (though every person on God’s green earth is), you’d place it as one of Eyre’s own without doubt – the frantic chorus providing her ample time to sprint around the stage in typical Ella Eyre fashion. Speaking of typical, ‘Typical Me’ is another great taste of the upcoming debut, complete with a contagious bridge and chorus combo.

The reception of the crowd, along with Ella’s explosive stage presence takes tracks like ‘Deeper’ to the next level – whilst the recorded edit is a bop-a-long buzz track, the live cut is much more involved and animated. Nothing yet garners as much of a response as Ella’s take on the song that transformed her into the next big thing – Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’. ‘I wouldn’t be here without them’, she claims as she introduces the track, and whilst that may be true, it’s as much Eyre’s determination and talent that has found her achieve the acclaim that has since followed her moment in the spotlight. The lengthy applause following ‘Waiting All Night’ is quite overwhelming – Eyre takes a moment to soak it all up before packing her final, and strongest hit – upcoming debut single ‘If I Go’. The song embellishes all tonight’s set has to brag about – classic, nostalgic undertones with a punchy layer of catchy hooks and a chorus that wouldn’t belong in anything other than a lead single.

The difficult thing for a young artist delving into the world of Soul is that the genre often calls for a young artist to ditch the naivety and adopt a more mature approach. Ella, however, walks the tightrope between excitable and eager whilst maintaining a respect for the genre with her evocative compositions that, often, do place her above her own years. Live, though, the real amalgamation comes to the fore – a true professional showcasing a preview of what looks set to be a vibrant and fresh debut forging Ella’s name into the world of music. Ella Eyre is set to be so much more than a familiar voice from a number one single.

Photo: Mike Burnell (
Words: Simon McMurdo


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