Lulu James wows the Birthdays crowdCultureMusicLive music
The hipster territory of Dalston was privy to the hottest ticket of the night as Lulu James headlined within the trendy underbelly of Birthdays. Emerging from South Shields, the Geordie soul singer has come a long way since she self-released her debut EP Hope Mirage. Since then, James has signed to Black Butter Records and released the acclaimed Closer EP earlier this week.
At this event she was flanked by those she has been working closely with. The masked bedroom producer Brolin was there as a support act in one of his rare appearances. Another hotly tipped artist hailing from the north, Brolin has only began performing live this year so this peformance was a welcome sight. Resident DJ for the night was the frontman of Invisible and musical godfather of the moment Dave Okumu.
As the venue readied for James’ performance, the stage lights dimmed to complete darkness. The hooded figure of the songstress appeared on stage, opening with Now the World – without revealing her face. The spooky beginning only helped to heighten the tension before finally revealing herself in Arabian attire, encapsulated and adorned in gold jewellery.
Immediately her demeanour and visual aesthetic were reminiscent of super diva Grace Jones. Her attitude in the songs is not too dissimilar either, as she meted out a vengeful message in Dare, which had the 90s R&B female emancipation vibe of En Vogue’s Don’t Let Go. James has the lungs to match her image and presence, as she belted through the electronic sounds of The End, Be Safe, Falling, The Sweetest Thing and Halfway to Hell. The mix of 80s synth against a 90s vocal works extremely well and entices the audience to dance.
Closer was undoubtedly the highlight as she encouraged the crowd to sing along – which they did dutifully. What is apparent is the star quality that emanates from the singer. The vocalist has a certain showmanship and individualism that should set her apart from her counterparts. When relaxed her tone is effortless and when she decides to take it up a key or two she is faultless. Lulu James is definitely the full ticket and worth the hype.
The Closer EP is available to download from iTunes. For further information about Lulu James and future tour dates visit here.
Watch the video for Closer here: