Diana Vickers @ Oxfam, Dalston 28th September 2010

Knowing a time to turn up to these events is so hard to judge especially, if the event is not sold out. Tonight was in aid of Oxjam and was headlined by Diana Vickers. The previous night the headliners were The Charlatens. I arrived outside the shop around 4.30. The shop was closed and the shutters had been pulled down. Inside they were filming and Diana Vickers was sound checking. There were only 8 people in front of me but that then grew to 10 as friends of people at the front of the queue joined the front not even caring about the people who had been there before them. The people in front were Vickerites Diana fans who follow her everywhere. In a way I must be grateful more Diana forum members didn’t turn up because I would be well annoyed. If you were put in the same position you would be annoyed too. I got to have a little chat with Katie which was extremely nice. She couldn’t stop for long as she was going to get make up done. The set times were then blue tacked up to the walls inside Pearl was on at 7.45, Liz Lawrence 8.45 and Diana 9.45. So I was prepared not to hear a full set by Diana as I worked it out as each artist has a 30 minute set. The doors opened a little after 7 and I got 2nd row. Why they had two horizontal speakers (I think they were speakers) on the floor I do not know. This was highly annoying as without them I would have been at the front albeit at the side. Still the view I had was good as I saw through the gap between the two people in front of me. I quite liked the compere because he wore a variety of different outfits from the store and also read out a little poem before each act.

The first act on the night was Pearl & The Puppets. This was the main reason I got a ticket for this charity event. The fact Diana Vickers and Gabriella Cilmi were on the same bill made it even more appetising. It was a shame Gabriella pulled out because this event would have been right up her street. I originally saw Pearl & The Puppets at Ben and Jerry’s Sundae in July. I was so impressed with the songs I checked the Myspace, Twitter and Facebook. I even pleaded to Katie to come to London as she mainly had been gigging round Scotland. Basically I am now a fan for life. I was excited to hear the songs again as they are amazing. Katie never fails to make me smile. The songs are soothing and hypnotic. The set started off with a few teething problems this being down to the fact the guitar was not plugged in. However when that was sorted the first song kicked off with Mango Tree. Sutherland has such a distinctive voice which is both beautiful and superb. Following on was Because I Do and this song that got the most reaction from the audience. Probably due to the fact the song is featured in the Gemma Arterton film Tamara Drewe. It was a nice song very catchy as well especially the bit “I do like you, I do like you today”. The song is in fact about Whiskey which is something I did not know. Inside Out was up next and why it only featured as a B Side on the current single I do not know. “I have this song out which you can all purchase now” and this was Make Me Smile. Everyone started to clap along to the beat of this song. It does live up to expectation and it does make you smile. It is very upbeat as well. A new song then followed on which Pearl played because we were special and it doesn’t have a title yet. The set list has it down as Baby If You Love Me maybe that is just a working title. Now this song was different in style compared to singles Because I Do and Make Me Smile. Still it is extremely powerful. Kisses which is another superb song saw Katie playing her wee Uke. The set ended with Better Day. Before the song she introduced her puppets then after she said we can find her on “Twitter, Facebook and Google”. Well this song was very up tempo and is very different compared to the last two singles which were extremely light. Sutherland did fail to mention it was the forthcoming single but from the set played it seemed like there were a couple more new fans.

SET LIST

Mango Tree
Because I Do
Inside Out
Make Me Smile
Baby If You Love Me
Kisses
Better Day

Stepping into fill the empty void Gabriella left was Liz Lawrence. I actually enjoyed her acoustic/ folk music. There wasn’t as much banter but then again Liz said she was not a banter person. I would actually go to see her again as she had some really good songs. So after the set had finished I then took a seat on the speaker next to me. It was then a 30 minute wait till the headlining artist took the stage. When the set list was put out it did raise a few eyebrows. The Vickerites were so sure Diana would be singing her new single My Wicked Heart and even said we are excited to hear the new single live to NME whom filmed interviews before the doors opened.

At 9.45 Diana came bursting onto the stage in a green dress and sung songs from her Number One album Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree. Kicking off the night was second single The Boy Who Murdered Love. During this song there was complete pandemonium as the photographers pushed their way to the front just to get pictures. Yes they needed to get pictures but people paid to be there while the photographers get in for free and they are being paid from the photos that they sell on. Also the gap at the front was already extremely tight why the speakers which were laid down were there I do not know. Never Get To Heaven was next and there was a real party atmosphere. I really like gigs which have an electric atmosphere. Before Just Say Yes Diana told us the story about the song and the fact Gazza L took the song back to use it as a Snow Patrol song. Still there was plenty of singing along and the chorus is extremely upbeat. This version of the song is simply amazing and it has her own mark on it. Next was Put It Back Together and Diana urged the crowd to have a small weep. She also mentioned she hope she does the song justice as it meant a lot to Nerina P (who wrote the song). The vocal range is incredible and this is a beautiful ballad. I am sure Diana does justice to this song but we will never know as Nerina has never sung this song. Remake Me And You was next a song that she worked on with Ellie G. In fact the song took 45 minutes to complete. Now this song is up tempo and you can have a dance to it. The performance of this song was very energetic. After Diana then showed us her trumpet skills for My Hip (she is actually Grade 8). The song is sung at ease and then Notice follows on. This again is another song that you can have a weep to and there were people waving their arms from side to side. If it was a festival I can picture lighters in the air. Still this is another slow ballad which has beautiful and emotional lyrics. Ending the night was number one single Once. This song was belted out and the atmosphere is electric. Before the song Vickers does some plugging mentioning about her new single and tour. There were plenty of people singing along.

SET LIST

The Boy Who Murdered Love
Never Get To Heaven
Just Say Yes
Put It Back Together
Remake Me And You
My Hip
Notice
Once

OVERALL: This night was enjoyable and it was an experience as well. A gig in a Oxfam shop is extremely surreal but they put together a fantastic gig. Yes I was disappointed when Gabriella pulled out but Diana, Katie and Liz made up for that. After when Diana finished I just left instead of waiting around hoping Diana will come out. All in all it was £25 well spent which all went to charity. I was surprised that this night did not sell out. There were tickets available to buy on the door and it was also extremely spacy inside bar right at the front.

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