Somewhere in the midst of touring her first album, and writing her second, Lianne La Havas’s popularity ballooned. At Brixton Academy, it was stretched to humongous proportions. “I’m trying very hard to remain calm,” La Havas whispered, as she gazed out at the thousands of faces that had assembled before her. Yet, not even the shrieks and exclamations of affection disrupted the singer from putting on a confident, spirited show to please more than her devotees.
Emerging onto the laser-lit stage, Little Dragon’s angelic frontwoman is wrapped in a flamboyant orange and florescent green dress, with yellow flower petals lining its shoulder straps, which glowed like a neon beacon as she, and her band, set the mood for a striking evening of frenetic electronica and dance jams.
O2 Brixton Academy, LondonWaiting outside the Brixton Academy on the eve of Janelle Monàe’s sell-out show, the scene resembled more of a fashion parade than a concert for a lady who is undoubtedly one of the finest talents to emerge since the golden age of soul music.
Monáe’s fans – self-proclaimed ‘fandroids’ – were out in force. Girls strutted around in striped leggings, while others had donned tuxedos and bow ties, their hair whipped into the icon afro-hawk of their idol. Most of the gents, too, had swapped casual polo necks for suits, braces and shoes. The sight of all this, the effort, the enthusiasm to get wrapped up in the artist’s world, it was unlike any concert I’d been to before. And it only heightened the anticipation for the coming show.