Review: Ellie Goulding, Primary 1 @ Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (6th April, 2010)

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16 Abr 2010, 1:27

Without a doubt, the highlight of Primary 1's set is the induction of the trumpet. An instrument that is cruelly underrated on the live circuit and rarely manages to escape the clutches of the brass band. The support band run the risk of outshining the headliner with their twenty minute set of experimental electronics. The catchy single The Blues proves one of many highlights throughout the performance but none manage to execute the same level of musicianship and excitement as the set's closer Who's There - lyrically easy on the ear but musically exciting and unique, it leaves the audience longing to hear more and certainly paves the way for Ellie's forthcoming set.

The contrast of such a large crowd within such an 'intimate' gig makes describing Ellie Goulding's show somewhat difficult - it certainly had the low key atmosphere of the Rescue Rooms, topped with the gimmick-free performance focused solely on the music, but it is undeniable that the sold out show doesn't exactly comply with anybody's perceptions of intimate. However, considering the chart topping, critically acclaimed status that Goulding currently harnesses, it's probably about as intimate as anybody could expect at the moment.

Opening with Lights, the electronic beats fill the room as the crowd are plunged into darkness. Silhouettes can be seen taking their place onstage and as the lights return, Ellie appears donning an acoustic guitar and is warmly welcomed by cheers from the anxious crowd. Despite suffering from illness, she manages to make her way through the set with apparent ease and her vocal talents are even more impressive than on record. Fan favourites find themselves scattered amongst the set - latest new single Guns and Horses renders an excited response from the audience, second only to the set's climax Starry Eyed, whilst Every Time You Go features a vocal accompaniment from the crowd.

Aside from the beautifully executed Lights, the set highlights come later in the show. Salt Skin, following Ellie's explanation of the lyrics, benefits from a new drum solo courtesy of Goulding herself, as does debut single Under the Sheets. The set reaches it's most energetic with a cover of Midlake's Roscoe which follows a stripped down version of Wish I Stayed, a performance that brings Ellie's soft and breathy voice to the fore and sees her at her most comfortable despite being potentially the most demanding of all the songs performed.

Despite being chatty enough to teach the spectators about I'll Hold My Breath's origins, the meaning of The Writer and her love of Roscoe, Ellie seems a little overwhelmed onstage and somewhat shy. Her talent makes up for this in buckets, however and her stage presence comes into it's own the moment the music begins, especially the rendition of Starry Eyed that brought the set to a close perfectly and managed to breathe some life into the somewhat stationary crowd. The mass of fans packed tightly together into the venue may have been considerably static throughout the set, but that's certainly not a judgement on the performance itself - it merely corresponds to the fact that the majority of the tracks performed rarely surpass a mid-paced tempo. The cheers and banter was evidence enough that the evening was more than enjoyable.

Making her way through a considerably short set, yet managing to cover her entire number one album Lights, Ellie Goulding has little to prove as she stands tall amongst the cream of the crop in 2010. However, the performance she gives at the Rescue Rooms gives new depth to the album tracks and gives them a new lease of life on the live circuit. It's wrong to say that Ellie Goulding excels on the live circuit in comparison to her recorded works, but the two are widely different experiences and both exceptionally recommended.

Setlist:
Lights
Every Time You Go
This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
Guns and Horses
Your Biggest Mistake
I'll Hold My Breath
The Writer
Salt Skin
Under the Sheets

Encore:
Wish I Stayed
Roscoe
Starry Eyed

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