Ellie Goulding at Hammersmith Apollo
British pop star Ellie Goulding returns to the stage with new songs and old, after a hiatus including marriage, motherhood and a focus on personal development.
Playing her first London show in over two years, Goulding’s latest album, Brightest Blue, has been regarded as her best yet. The electro-pop musician appears on stage with a glittery outfit, including large wings, feeling like she “can take off in this thing”. A sparse instrumental setup includes two violinists, three backing vocalists, and accompanying electronic drums and synthesiser. There are a fair number of sombre songs such as Flux, the somewhat maudlin Woman, and Bleach, where other tracks are more rousing, especially when one observes the drowsy seated audience. Dance numbers like Aftertaste, New Love, and Love Me Like You Do send the crowd into euphoria.
There is a sense of shyness about the singer, and perhaps the break from performing has something to do with it. The sound quality is also unfortunately too restrained, particularly in the stalls, and results in an overall underwhelming evening. Goulding is an advocate for climate change, and the back screen occasionally presents statements mirroring these beliefs. However, this seems scattered and arbitrary at tonight’s event.
The livelier tracks are highlights of Goulding’s return. The response to New Love, Only You, and Anything Could Happen reveal how the singer has garnered such a huge following and many accolades over the years, including two Brit Awards and over a billion streams.
Both the crowd and Goulding have abundant energy; even at the end of her set, the artist is stomping and jumping fervently with her platform-heeled boots, clearly happy to return.
There is no denying her huge success, and generally the crowd are overjoyed to see the vocalist perform live again – although perhaps a concise set and imaginative stage design would have made it a more memorable evening.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Ellie Goulding’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Anything Could Happen here: