Vevo Halloween Party at Oval SpaceCultureMusicLive music
This Halloween Vevo hosted an incredible competition to showcase the best up-and-coming musicians of 2013. The winning undead lined the streets behind Oval Space in Bethnal Green hoping to get a look in. This crowd were a keen mix of traditional spooks and neon Primark cast-offs; the distinct festival atmosphere set the scene for a night of thrilling treats.
Lorde, first on stage, is undoubtedly a diva in the making. She expresses far more depth live than on record, and Tennis Court showcases her unique sound – it’s a jerky but heavy tune that has everyone twitching along with her. Despite her mere 17 years she has all the stage presence of an otherworldly Beyoncé. Throughout the set she is on a constant higher plane: this is a girl with serious rhythm, not missing a beat. Royals is met with screams – Lorde already owns a massive following, but this favourite lacked the energy of earlier songs.
Close on her heels is Nina Nesbitt, who sadly struggles to capture the crowd. Although she is enjoyable on record, her songs are less impressive live, many indistinguishable. New single Eighteen Candles has a rockabilly feel, fun and upbeat but done before. Nesbitt’s set is a bit like the soundtrack to a scene in a low-budget British teenage series where the boyfriend drives away crying. The crowd wake up during her final song Stay Out, but there is a definite sense that Nesbitt is on the wrong line-up tonight.
Next, Iggy Azalea careers onto the stage as Cruella de Vil. Bounce immediately has everyone fist pumping and by now painted faces are melting. The intimate venue suits her voice, coming off better than her performance at Chime for Change at Twickenham stadium. Azalea dominates the stage: “London, can I change your life?”. The audience reveal their adoration with the universal chanting of her name. Some of the choice lyrics don’t exactly place her in the female role model camp, but it is undeniable that Work is wildly received. Azalea could be described as something of an idol to this baying crowd.
John Newman plays a relatively sombre set after the ostentation of Azalea. The increasingly inebriated crowd start to wander, but Newman draws them in with his dramatic rendition of Gold Dust. Rocking a dapper vampire motif, his voice is soulful and exciting – definitely not a trick. The popular and catchy Love Me Again is a winner, a heavy version that lets the keyboard riffs shine through. Newman establishes himself as a genuine performer.
Headlining, Bastille open with Bad Blood, which gets them off to a slow start. Meaningful lyrics, tight backing and an epic sound follow soon after though, proving their live improvement since earlier this year. The whole crowd singing Things We Lost in the Fire dressed as demons and ghouls is testament to their popularity. Although as yet they lack the presence of more weathered bands, the brilliantly pitched new single Of the Night – a mash-up of Corona’s The Rhythm of the Night and Rhythm Is a Dancer by Snap! – cements Bastille’s reputation as one of the best bands of 2013. It is safe to say there’s a self-fulfilling prophecy in their own words: “the future’s in our hands and we will never be the same again”.
The screams that echo after Bastille’s dying strains are apt on this All Hallows’ Eve. Vevo have put on quite a show tonight, all of the musicians complemented by the faultless acoustics. This party marks Bastille’s coming of age, but as tough as it is to admit it, Azalea is the undisputed queen of the night.