Labrinth @ Jazz Café 11th February 2012

HMV Next Big Thing was coming to an end for me. I had chosen to sign it off with attending Labrinth at the Jazz Café. Support came from both Tanya Lacey and StooShe. I was rather excited to see StooShe play as they had been nominated in the BBC Sound Poll 2012 and HMV took a shine to them after they played at the opening of Next Big Thing at The Borderline back in December. Tickets for this event went on sale at the beginning of January and it came as no surprise they sold out on the day. Out of all the Next Big Thing gigs I have attended over the past week this was the one I wanted to queue early for. I was outside the Jazz Café at 3pm (which was earlier than the 4 NBT gigs I had attended prior to this one) and I found myself being the only one there. I may of slightly misjudged it but at least I knew I would be right at the front for this memorable gig. Whereas this evening was fantastic it was slightly tarnished by the fact it took 1hr for the doors to open. The doors finally opened at 8pm and security basically just let us all in taking our printed off tickets instead of tearing/ scanning them. It was rather nice to be inside in the warmth after 5 hours in the freezing cold. Tanya Lacey was due to take to the stage at 8pm but instead came on around 8.15pm. Currently signed to Sony Music, Lacey is am extremely talented singer songwriter and has a number of belting songs underneath her sleeve. She was also the support on Bruno Mars’s UK Arena tour at the end of 2011. Tanya’s set kicked off with the delicious Beautifully Dirty. There was a R&B vibe to this song and also Lacey showed off her brilliant rapping skills. The vocals were sublime and this song can get you moving. “OK, So tonight I’m joined by my gorgeous backing singers and DJ Caesar. We’re going to drop a few tracks from my début album” Lacey said before launching into Greatness. I really liked this song. The lyrics were luscious and the backing vocals were sublime. This song had a Pop feel and I can’t wait to hear the studio version. After the applause it was straight into Born To Fly. This being the first part of the AA single released last December. Again it was yet another impressive song which had some heavy beats. “So the next song I’m about to do is a song that I co wrote and featured on with the amazing Loick Essien” Tanya went onto say. The next song being How We Roll which reached #2 in the UK Charts. This song was delivered superbly and had a R&B vibe to it. Plus Tanya’s rapping skills were yet again showcased. Once this song was over it was then straight into Any Anyway. The song started with an a capella which sounded incredible. This song was very pop and was very upbeat at the same time. Also the lyrics were infectious as well. “So this next track is a track that is available at the moment on iTunes” and this being the 2nd part of the AA side single Letter To My Ex. This was a fantastic song with brilliant lyrics and a lovely chorus. Lacey definitely has what it takes to be a star. “I’m going to end it with a song that I co wrote and the track got released this week. So if you’re feeling it please support” Tanya said before ending the set with T.H.E (The Hardest Ever). Even though this is not her own song Lacey did co write it for Will.i.am. All in all this short set made my mouth water for the forthcoming album Breakthrough. Each song showed off her incredible song writing ability and they were also delivered to perfection.

SET LIST

Beautifully Dirty
Greatness
Born To Fly
How We Roll
Any Anyway
Letter To My Ex
T.H.E (The Hardest Ever)

StooShe were a three piece girl group whom consisted of Alexandra Buggs, Karis Anderson and Courtney Rumbold. With only 2 singles to their name this was the perfect opportunity to showcase material from forthcoming album Swings & Roundabouts. The band have so far released 2 singles Betty Woz Gone and more recently Love Me (which features Travie McCoy). The band come on to the sound of police sirens and then launch into the upbeat Betty Woz Gone. This song was a tale of a mother caught up in drugs who also abandons her children. It actually slightly samples a snippet of the theme tune to Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. After it was into Future Lover and the band showed off their dance moves. “That was Betty Woz Gone and Future Lover and the next song we’re going to sing for you today is My Man” Buggs said to the intimate audience. Now I really liked My Man the lyrics were delightful plus there was a reggae vibe to this song. It is definitely one you could have a good boogie too. “We’re going to slow it down for you. This is Black Heart. So all you girls that have been hurt by guys hopefully you can relate to this” Alexandra said to the audience before launching into the beautiful Black Heart. This song was a ballad with lovely lyrics that were delivered faultlessly. I for one cannot wait to hear the studio version of this amazing song. “We’re going to speed it up again now with a song called Kiss Chase. Basically there’s a part we we say run and we really want you to say run and next time we say run you say faster” Karis said to the audience. Kiss Chase was another favourite of mine on the night. This song was rather pacey and very infectious. It oozed plenty of energy and it was an extremely fun song. “OK, we’ve got one more song for you guys it’s called Love Me. It’s our début single” Buggs said to the audience before signing off with Love Me. Unfortunately Travie did not make an appearance. This song along with the others performed on the night showed that StooShe definitely have what it takes to carve out a promising career within the music industry. Seriously it is worth keeping an eye out for this band.

SET LIST

Betty Woz Gone
Future Lover
My Man
Black Heart
Kiss Chase
Love Me

Labrinth (Timothy McKenzie) is one talented singer/ songwriter/ producer who is better known for working with Tinie Tempah. With his debut album about to drop this March, this was the perfect opportunity to showcase tracks from Electronic Earth. The short set kicked off with Sundown which sampled Big Yellow Taxi. This was a laid back song which had smooth lyrics. There was a R&B vibe to this song and midway through this song it became more energetic. “Yo HMV make some noise for Tanya Lacey, make some noise for StooShe that just came on coz they done amazing up here. Are we ready to have some fun tonight HMV?” Labrinth said before launching into Climb On Board. This powerful song had an electro feel to it. Climb On Board is the opening track to album Electronic Earth. “This next song is called Last Time. It’s my new single it’s out March 11th. Let’s do this” he said before launching into Last Time. This had an Electro/ R&B vibe to it with the addition of some smooth lyrics. From hearing this song for the first time I can tell it will do really well in the charts. It was then straight into Labrinth’s very own soulful take on Express Yourself. iTunes only song T.O.P followed on and this song was rather energetic. The penultimate song was Let The Sunshine and it was a right crowd pleaser. This song was laid back which had delightful lyrics and a fantastic chilled out chorus that delighted everyone. “Jazz Cafe, I think I love you guys you know. Are we ready to have some fun again. Are we ready to go f***ing crazy. I think it’s time to make an earthquake” Labrinth said before launching into Earthquake. Unfortunately Tinie Tempah did not make an appearance but that didn’t matter as what was delivered was something completely epic.

SET LIST

Sundown
Climb On Board
Last Time
Express Yourself
T.O.P
Let The Sunshine
Earthquake

OVERALL: This was an enjoyable night with 3 top class acts. StooShe definitely have a long successful career in front of them and as for Tanya Lacey well she was extremely talented. The set played by Labrinth was energetic and he put every ounce of energy into his performance. Actually it was very surreal seeing someone who will make it big up close.

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