Gabriella Cilmi at Soho House
In the heart of Soho, music lovers are chatting and jostling to the bar for a last-minute drink as they wait for the arrival of Australian-born soul singer, Gabriella Cilmi. The venue is atmospheric and slightly cramped, but there is a real buzz in the air when the singer arrives – shaking hands and introducing the band – ready to start her set.
She begins with three tracks from her upcoming album The Sting, one of which, Sweeter in History, showcases Cilmi’s stunning, Macy Gray-esque vocals, and ensures that every eye on the house is locked upon her. Her soothing, throaty voice meshes perfectly with the laidback vibe of the venue and she oozes energy as she moves around the stage, making a real connection with her audience. She maintains this link even between songs, cracking jokes and sharing anecdotes about her past with the crowd.
It becomes apparent that Cilmi has moved on from the bluesy-pop that introduced her to the world (Sweet About Me) – and rightfully so: her new material has enough substance to stand alone without support from those early songs. Some of her older hits would still have been welcome – an acoustic rendition of Warm This Winter might have raised the roof – but she sticks with her latest work throughout.
“We’re gonna bring the tempo up a bit,” she smiles, as she nears the end of the half-hour set. She dances with members of her band as the music becomes more serious, this time dealing with themes of betrayal and failed relationships. Nevertheless, the music has the same positive impact on the audience, and Cilmi’s departure is greeted with regretful applause.
Despite a lack of well-known songs on the set list, Cilmi’s famous vocal range and ability to relate to her audience make for a lot of fun.
Photo: Teesha Ite
For further information and future events visit Gabriella Cilmi’s website here.
Watch our interview with Gabriella Cilmi here:
Watch the video for Sweeter in History here: