Lola Young at the Camden Assembly
Nineteen-year-old South London singer Lola Young receives a lot of love and support during her gig at the Camden Assembly. A sweltering evening turns the small upstairs venue into a sweatbox.
She opens the show with the sultry After Midnight, a song about only missing an ex-lover after midnight – something most people can relate to. She plays the intriguing new track Pill or a Lullaby, which addresses the uneasiness of insomnia. Her lyrics are eloquent and it’s interesting to hear an artist at such an early stage in their career be so raw and vulnerable.
Rawness and vulnerability appear to be Young’s forte. Her voice is pleasingly husky but also ferociously powerful. Her stunning appearance shows she means business. Although the performer is clearly very talented as she sings, plays guitar and even raps, she appears nervous. Some lyrics are fluffed, understandably. Less reasonable, however, is the twenty-minute delay in arriving on stage, which seems a little unfair on the audience considering the heat inside the room and that high volume of viewers. With the past 18 months teaching everyone how important live music is on mental health and wellbeing, the method of leaving fans waiting to increase anticipation seems outdated.
Luckily, the singer’s adoring spectators are forgiving. Embracing her by shrieking from the moment she steps out and reaching a crescendo as she joins the crowd for one number. Ruin My Makeup is a powerful standout, along with Bad Tattoo with its Spanish guitar licks. The clear highlight is new track Dopamine with its funky piano hook.
The sound at Camden Assembly is always a little too loud for the size of the space: it tends to punch listeners around the head rather than allowing the music to come to them, therefore it is perhaps irresponsible to sell so many tickets to such a small venue – but that’s not the artist’s fault.
With her debut EP out now, and a voice (speaking and singing) reminiscent of Adele, Young could easily blow up. Her tracks examining youthful life and love seem to hit a chord with her audience. Hopefully with time she’ll relax a little into her songs and find her performance stride.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit Lola Young’s website here.
Watch the video for the singleRuin My Makeup here: