Alexandra Burke @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire 12th January 2012

Entering its 15th year, Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign benefits two breast cancer charities – Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign. Alexandra Burke is the ambassador for Breast Cancer Care and she’s picked the line-up which consisted of Chipmunk, Dionne Bromfield, The Saturdays and X-Factor winners Little Mix. Deciding on a time to arrive at this dream gig was tough. Was it a gig you would need to arrive at very early or could you just turn up a couple of hours before and still get to the front. The combination of these big artists made me think I would need to arrive early if I wanted to be at the front inside. I am glad I didn’t take for granted that there would be an o2 Priority Queue. I arrived outside Shepherd’s Bush Empire at 12pm and there were only 10 people there. So I did judge it right this time. Fast forward to 6.30pm, the doors opened and everyone filtered in. Everything kicked off at 7.40pm when Alexandra Burke took to the stage just to say a few words before introducing Zoe Salmon and Miquita Oliver who were the compères of the evening. Opening up were X Factor winners Little Mix. This band consist of Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall. They deserved to win the X Factor as they had that special something and they gelled together perfectly. The set performed by these girls was amazing but the only drawback was the fact it was too short. They only sung three songs all being covers that had been performed on the X Factor. Little Mix opened up with Don’t Let Go (Love) which sounded incredible. The vocals were spot on and the harmonising was amazing. “Good evening everybody, Is everybody ready to have a good night. We’re going to do a couple of songs for you. This second song we’re going to do for you now was the very first one we did for the live shows” Jade said to the crowd before launching into the next song which was Super Bass. The band ditched the microphone stands and performed close to one another. The vocals were extremely tight and this song got the crowd worked up. “This next song we’re going to do is a bit of a dancey one. This is a Rihanna song this is one of our favourites” Thirwall said to the audience before ending the spectacular set with Don’t Stop The Music. Overall Little Mix are a close knitted girl group and I look forward to hearing original material by them. Plus I most definitely will see them live again in the future. I was actually surprised that they didn’t sing Cannonball.

SET LIST

Don’t Let Go (Love)
Super Bass
Don’t Stop The Music

It was then onto Chipmunk and the crowd were pumped up. This set was a mixture of material from both his albums I Am Chipmunk and Transition. Opening up the set was Flying High. I know of Chipmunk but I wont consider myself as a massive fan unlike most people who were in the audience. Still you can’t deny he is a talented rapper and Flying High oozed plenty of energy. “Tickled Pink make some noise. Are you having a good time?” Chipmunk said before getting stuck into Diamond Rings. When this song was released back in the day Emeli Sande featured on this track. Unfortunately she didn’t make an appearance. “Who’s having a good time this evening? We’re here to support Tickled Pink tonight it’s the 15th Anniversary. What I want to see right now is everybody put one hand up in the air”. It was then onto Look For Me and I really liked this infectious song. Oopsy Daisy was Chipmunk’s only #1 single and this was one beautiful ballad with the added rapping. “Has anybody got a phone in here? I wanna see some lights right now” Chipmunk said before getting stuck into In The Air. Ending the set was the first single to be taken off of Transition and this being Champion.

SET LIST

Flying High
Diamond Rings
Look For You
Oopsy Daisy
In The Air
Champion

A little after 9pm The Saturdays took to the stage. The audience were going crazy and it was nice seeing them in a venue which wasn’t seated. As soon as they took to the stage there was one notable absentee and this was Vanessa. Opening up the set was the first single from the current album and this being Notorious. The song itself reached #8 in the Official UK Singles Chart and is extremely different compared to material from the first 3 albums. For starters there was an RnB vibe to this song. “We wanna thankyou all for coming out tonight, raising money for such a good cause” Rochelle said before the band launched into Forever Is Over. This song was taken from the 2nd album Wordshaker and it was delivered perfectly. Bundles of energy was flowing from this track. It was a fantastic combination of Pop and Rock. “Lets see your hands up in the air guys” Mollie said to the crowd before launching into the beautiful ballad Missing You. “If you can sing along with us” Frankie said before introducing the next song Ego. This song is so infectious and was taken from the Wordshaker album. I have been a fan of The Saturdays since the début single but it was this song that made me want to see them live. Its chorus is fantastic. “I wanna say quickly thanks you guys for coming this year, it’s great work that these guys do” Rochelle said before saying Una was going to become a yummy mummy. Mollie then introduced the beautiful romantic ballad Issues. This song was delivered to perfection. It was then straight into Just Can’t Get Enough. This infectious song oozed plenty of energy. This song was a cover that was released for Comic Relief back in 2009. They made it their own and I picked up on a fun vibe. After some talk it was then onto another track from On Your Radar. This being the slowed down Last Call. The song is a ballad and it’s about that person you always go back to, they are your last call. “We’re going to speed it up a little again” Mollie said before the band launched into All Fired Up. This song was a mixture of Dance and Pop. You can actually vision it being played in a club. After plenty of applause it was then onto the penultimate song and this being the wonderful My Heart Takes Over. This beautiful ballad was sung superbly and had some luscious lyrics. “We’re going to end it on a high, so we want everyone up out of their seats” Rochelle said before launching into onto one of her favourites and this being Higher. This was one infectious Pop song. You just want to dance to it. This was the Flo Rida version of the song but Flo Rida wasn’t there. Plenty of people were singing along to every word. Even though only 10 songs featured this was one spectacular performance by The Saturdays. I had so much fun seeing them up close compared to the HMV Apollo show last February where my seat was in the 4th row. Despite Vanessa White not being in attendance, Rochelle Wiseman, Frankie Sanford, Una Healy and Mollie King delivered one faultless set. I will most definitely attend the next tour which I am guessing will take place at the end of 2012 or the start of 2013.

SET LIST

Notorious
Forever Is Over
Missing You
Ego
Issues
Just Can’t Get Enough
Last Call
All Fired Up
My Heart Takes Over
Higher

The penultimate artist of the night was Dionne Bromfield. She is notably the late Amy Winehouse’s god daughter. I know of Bromfield but I have never actually heard any of her music before. When she took to the stage she was wearing pink bunny ears and the curtains were draped behind her. Things kicked off with Move A Little Faster and you could pick up on a soulful vibe. It was then onto Ouch That Hurt. You can’t fault the stunning vocals and I was reminded of the late great Amy Winehouse. “How many of you excited to see Alexandra Burke” Bromfield said before asking the crowd who our favourite act so far was. “So this next track I’m going to do was probably my favourite tracks of last year” Dionne said before launching into her take on Cee Lo Green’s Forget You. The vocals were fantastic and she made this song her very own. After everyone sang happy birthday to one of Dionne’s dancers whose birthday it was the prior day. It was then onto the latest single from Good For The Soul and this being Foolin’. The Amy Winehouse traces were extremely strong during this song. Ending the set was the first single to be taken from Good For The Soul this being Yeah Right. I found the chorus to be rather powerful. Overall Dionne’s 5 track set was superb I definitely see Soulful traces in her music. I would actually love her to play at the Jazz Cafe.

SET LIST

Move A Little Faster
Ouch That Hurt
Forget You
Foolin’
Yeah Right

The headline artist of the night was the extremely talented Alexandra Burke. Before she made her entrance there was an intro which consisted of clips of Start Without You, All Night Long, Bad Boys which got the crowd whipped up into a frenzy. The short set kicked off with the up tempo, dance/ electro pop song Broken Heels. This was extremely powerful and I really liked the middle 8 to this song. “How you guys feeling? Have you enjoyed your evening so far? Before I continue I just wanna say a massive thankyou to Asda, Tickled Pink and Breast Cancer Care” Burke said to the packed crowd. “I feel like it’s time to turn the heat up a little bit” Alexandra said before launching into Start Without You. This song was extremely different compared to material from début album Overcome. For starters this song had a Reggae/ Calypso feel to it. Once over Burke went off stage leaving her dancers to perform a dance interlude. “Does anybody in the house tonight remember my first ever single” Burke said when she appeared on stage. This being the Leonard Cohen cover Hallelujah. Basically the hairs on the back on my neck were standing up. This steady paced ballad was delivered to perfection. You could tell Alexandra put everything into the song. Next it was the brand new single and this being Elephant. I really like this song the way it started captivated me till the very end. Elephant was a song which was delivered powerfully and you could easily rock out to it. “Do you want to keep this going All Night Long” Burke said before launching into All Night Long. I really liked this songs infectious chorus and Alexandra knew perfectly well how to work the crowd. Before the last song there were Police Sirens and this then lead to the highly infectious Bad Boys. This song is extremely energetic and catchy at the same time. The chorus is powerful, plus it was a song you can dance along too. Nearing the end there was an explosion of confetti which rounded off one incredible gig.

SET LIST

Broken Heels
Start Without You
Hallelujah
Elephant
All Night Long
Bad Boys

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