Fleur East at Union Chapel
With her family sitting in the front row, as well as her Strictly Come Dancing clan in the balcony, Fleur East finally returns to the arms of her biggest love: music. Embraced by the warmth of her audience, and accompanied by a fabulous and equally unstoppable all-female band, the former X Factor contestant entertains until the very last minute of her concert at Union Chapel. She never stops, moving on-stage with the raw energy of a fireball, grooving with her two backup dancers and showing a willingness to share her personal journey not only through music, but also in a plethora of emotional and/or hilarious anecdotes.
This performance comes after a break from the music world that has been anything but idle, as the East herself points out: she is a radio presenter, singer, dancer, fitness instructor and recently also a Strictly Come Dancing finalist. In other words, she was born to be on-stage. There is no doubt about that.
She opens the show with the sassy, funky and high-octane Love Me or Leave Me Alone, one of the tracks off her first album, Love, Sax and Flashbacks. Also featured are several songs from her latest record, Fearless (which came out in 2020), including Figured Out, Easy to Love and an intimate rendition of Absence Speaks Louder than Words. The latter is probably one of the highlights. It is preceded by a deeply heartfelt moment, in which East once again allows her fans a peek into her life (it was her late father’s favourite, she says).
Another standout is an a capella version of Things I Should’ve Said, a moment for the crowd to catch their breath and watch as she sings her heart out. Towards the end of the concert, the artist also treats the venue to a spoken-word performance of her poem, ColourBlind – a powerful piece in which she candidly opens up about her mixed-race heritage and the racism she has encountered throughout her life.
The night ends on the most perfect note: platinum hit Sax. At this point everyone is standing up, dancing and singing along. The singer’s lively presence juxtaposes the gothic austerity of the venue, but this very contrast adds to the overall experience. Fleur East is a powerhouse, as well as a performer who knows how to communicate and form an emotional bond with her audience. Every single person in the chapel is there to support her, cheering her on, and celebrating her return to the stage – where she belongs.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit Fleur East’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Count the Ways here: