By Arley Simpkins
Thursday May 12th in Manchester’s Academy 3, I saw a 22 year-old girl who hails from London and who also has a rather exotic parentage of a Greek father and a Jamaican mother. Her name is Lianne La Havas and she is, in a word, wonderful.
A prevalent realisation as I was standing in the Academy 3 in Manchester for about 2 hours was that I was hearing her sing live. Lianne’s singing ability is second to none; she did not miss a note and every song was pitch-perfect. This is something that even the most talented and well-established of performers struggle to achieve, and this pint-sized delight made it look disgustingly easy. Tip of the cap to you, Ms. La Havas.
Of course, behind many talented front-women there is a talented band, and this lot were no exception. It was a very tight performance from all of them, and they all looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Being a budding bassist myself, I am not afraid to admit that I did feel slightly jealous watching those guys having the time of their lives and getting paid for it! Although, now I think about it, I am a student so I suppose I can empathise.
I feel that Lianne’s opening act, Marques Tolliver, also deserves a mention. His performance bares comparisons to KT Tunstall’s fantastic display on ‘Later with Jools Holland’. He used a loop station and an electric bass drum peddle to dramatic effect, delivering a powerful and passionate set of songs. He also performed backing vocals on Lianne’s title track for her debut album ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ which I thought was a lovely touch.
And finally, to cap it all off, Lianne seems like a genuinely nice and down-to-earth person. Her interaction with the audience was lovely and effortless, and she was kind enough to talk to me afterwards and sign my ticket, which is something I will be treasuring for a long time to come.