How you come to hear about an artist can vary greatly. It can be via the radio, TV or increasingly of course, social media. The latter is pretty much the same as the traditional word of mouth. For me, with Elle King, it was through a Stephen King tweet in March 2015. Six months later, I was stood watching her on stage in London at the very cool Lexington, and again a month later at the equally cool Electrwerkz. Fast forward three years and tonight we were at the much bigger (400+ capacity), but still very cool, Bush Hall, over in the west of the capital.
A lot has happened to Elle King in the years since we last saw her…and judging by the new songs it would seem the forthcoming album, Shake The Spirit, deals with most of those events. The entire 13 tracks from the long player get an airing here as do a smattering of songs from her debut, Love Stuff. That 2015 album has become a go-to long player for me and so it is a bit of a disappointment not to hear more from it here. The new tracks though sound just as good and equally emotion filled for someone so young…a full life led and not yet 30.
The ornate venue, which dates back to 1904, is full…and bloody hot. Despite the lack of air con the crowd is in good form for a Tuesday night, some in better form than others it seems, particularly those that haven’t been out in a while judging by the frequent trips to the bar (not helped by the 9.30 start). The opening song of the set, Speaking in Tounges, sees King, resplendent in long, very long, purple hair extensions, set the bar high. Love that song (about a witch apparently), really wish she would record it (and if she has, can someone please send me the link).
King is in fine form. When playing mainly new songs it can be difficult, for both crowd and artist, to keep the momentum going. It really didn’t matter here though. She gets a great reception for all although new single, Shame and breakthrough hit, Ex’s and Oh’s get the biggest cheers. We also get an excellent stripped back version of, Good To Be A Man. She is best with banjo in hand and it is that along with her incredible raspy voice that sets her apart from her contemporaries…although not sure who they actually would be.
The closing song of the main set (and closing track on Shake The Spirt), Little Bit Of Lovin’ is ridiculously good. Think it may already be my fave…can’t wait to turn that one up loud. Her and her band exit stage left before encoring with I’ll Be The One. Fabulous. Big things surely await.
Elle King has been described as a ‘Badass blues-rock powerhouse’…yep, think that says it all.
Ticket: October 2nd 2018
Ticket Price: £15.00