Lauren Aquilina @ Ice Bar 5th June 2012

My trip to London’s Ice Bar was set to be a once in a lifetime experience and this was to see the wonderful Lauren Aquilina who has what it takes to go places. Only the evening didn’t take place where I expected. Instead the live music happened in a posh cosy room where people could also have meals. There was no sign of Ice whatsoever. Initially I attended just for Lauren but I ended up being enthralled by the artist that opened up the night.

Rosie Baxter is a singer/ songwriter based in London. Rosie has been gaining a loyal fanbase all around the city and has already played at venues such as The Bedford, Balham and The Lounge. This was the first time I had heard this wonderful artist and the songs that were sung were extraordinary.

The set started off with the beautiful White Dress. What I enjoyed about this song was that it was fully acoustic and it worked wonders. White Dress tells the story of Jenny who is getting married and Rosie has been wondering if she will ever wear a white dress. Its chorus was packed with a punch. I actually found this to be really entrancing. “Alright so I’ll get in trouble if I don’t introduce him. This is my guitarist Dan. This next one is called Too Late”. I rather liked Too Late. This song was mellowing and there is something about Rosie’s vocals that can put a smile on your face. There was slight sadness from the lyrics that were sung. “So anyone who’s on Twitter, I love your followings. It’s http://www.twitter.com/rosiebaxter and Facebook too” Baxter said before being corrected by Dan “It’s RosieBsinger. I view it all the time. That’s the only reason I know it so well. Professional purposes of course”. It was then onto The Girl Inside and this song was slightly emotional from the story which was being sung. This song was delivered at a slow pace and the vocals were soothing/ mellowing. “This next song we wrote a while ago. It’s a bit of a upbeat one” Rosie said before Love Drunk. This by far had to be my favourite song that featured in the set. Not because it is upbeat but the fact it has an infectious chorus and delectable verses. “This is our last song for you guys. We wrote a song and it’s actually about song writing and music and what it means to us” Baxter said before closing the outstanding set with a song that was special to them and this being Breathe. Dan harmonised for this beautiful song. This was a passionate performance and sounded hypnotic.

SET LIST

White Dress
Too Late
The Girl Inside
Love Drunk
Breathe

Third on the night was then the fantastic Lauren Aquilina. At only 16 years old she is one phenomenal talent.

“Hello, It’s very nice to be here. I have never been here before. It’s a bit posh isn’t it?. I’ll start with an original song now about me not having any idea of what I wanted to do with my life” Aquilina said before diving straight into this keyboard driven ballad. Its lyrics were fantastic and was co written with Orla Gartland. Expectations is telling a story of how Lauren doesn’t know what path she wants to take and how she doesn’t think she can live up to the expectations. “This next one is a bit depressing. So I apologise. I wrote it about a year ago. I was 15 and it’s about a boy” Lauren said before More Than You. This song was delivered strongly and was tinged with sadness. It told the story of a boy who wasn’t very nice to Aquilina and it also tells the story of unrequited love. Lauren’s vocals sounded superb. “I’m going to do a cover now of one of my favourite artists. Her name is Ellie Goulding” Aquilina said before putting her own twist on Guns & Horses. This song is one that she has perfected and it sounded incredible. The vocals were distinctive and it was delivered at a slow pace. Ellie Goulding is one of my favourite artists as well and Lauren did this song justice. “I’m going to take a bit of a risk here and sing one I haven’t sung live before. It’s a bit different coz it’s not really about like normal song stuff” Aquilina then said to the intimate audience before Drag Me Down. This song recently appeared as one of her videos on her popular YouTube channel. Still Drag Me Down oozed folkness and Lauren’s vocals were powerful and sweet. She sailed through this song at ease. “I’m going to play my last song now. Thank you very much for having me. You’ve been very very nice to me. This is called  Never Change it’s very bitter, bitchy song. Which is the best kind of song” Lauren then went onto say before Never Change. This upbeat song tells the story about a boy who is a player. The relationship between this boy and Lauren is over and this tune is basically a warning song to his current partner. Aquilina powered through this and it ended what was an incredible 5 song set.

SET LIST

Expectations
More Than You
Guns & Horses
Drag Me Down
Never Change

OVERALL: At only 16 Lauren Aquilina is one extraordinary artist who has the potential to follow in the footsteps of artists (Kate McGill, Orla Gartland, Katie Sky, Gabrielle Aplin) who have gone down the YouTube route. This evening the audience was a lot older compared to the audience at the Barfly. Aquilina’s confidence has grown and I look forward to the EP that she is recording.

London based Rosie Baxter is someone I aim to see play live again in the future. What was sung was very pop and it sounded extremely lovely acoustic. Out of the 5 songs which Baxter performed my favourite had to be Love Drunk.

The 2nd artist on the night was Billy Lockett who was not listed on the schedule. His set intrigued me.

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