Ellie Goulding @ Brixton Academy 12th December 2012

The Halcyon Days tour saw Ellie Goulding perform material from her sophomore album. This was the 3rd time I had witnessed Goulding this year and I was really looking forward to the performance. I intended of arriving early but a prior engagement meant that I only get there at 1pm. Fortunately there were only 3 people there which was good. Later on in the day more people and the barriers came out. Turned out that I was the first person in the o2 queue which was a bit of a result. I must say the wait outside was horrendous it made me consider never book gigs in December ever again. Fast forward to when the doors opened. Once inside I was barrier centre left (Ellie’s drums are always on the right hand side) and then I waited for the 1st band to come on and this being Sons & Lovers. I had previously witnessed them support Kyla La Grange earlier on in the year and the music that they sung got my attention straight away. Tracks such as Ghost, King, Golden and Set My Heart sounded incredible and it makes me look forward to the day they have something physically out there. Once over it was then onto a DJ set by the one and only Yasmin which filled in the gap until the main headliner took to the stage at 9.10pm.

Opening up the set was Don’t Say A Word. I found it to be a sweet sounding song which progressed into something utterly amazing. Don’t Say A Word was a powerful song and it had some rather beautiful lyrics. My favourite part had to its middle 8. Halcyon followed on straight away and this was also the title of the sophomore album. This tune was rather pacey and it sounded rather mesmerising/ uplifting. Halcyon was a power synth pop song which tells you that things are going to be better. “Good evening Brixton” Goulding said before launching into her most recent single Figure 8. This immediately stands out and has impeccable lyrics which ooze plenty energy. Its chorus was packed with a punch “I chased your love around a figure 8, I need you more than I can take, You promised forever and a day, And then you take it all away”. An old song then followed on and this being the epic Salt Skin. Only it is not as epic. Gone is the drum battle from the time Ellie toured Lights. Despite this the song was delivered both strongly and faultlessly. “Hello everyone. So I’m afraid this is going to be a really gushy soppy thing because I’ve always wanted to play here and now I’m here and it’s amazing” Ellie then said to the packed crowd before a first. This being a mixture of Hanging On/ Wonderman. Hanging On was a cover by Active Child and Goulding’s vocals are superb. The melody was actually slightly mellowing and its lyrics were addictive as well. Wonderman had been cleverly infused into this mashup and this resulted in plenty of screams. What Ellie sang was her vocal parts in this tune as Tinie wasn’t there as both songs featured him. “How is everyone this evening? Just cos this is mental. This is so many people. Please can everyone put their hands in the air” Goulding said before Joy. This was a sweet sounding ballad, with beautiful lyrics and a soothing melody. You cant help but fall in love with this uplifting number. “This song was one of the 1st songs I wrote for my new album Halcyon. Thanks if you have Halcyon” Ellie then said before Explosions. This tune was written about someone who isn’t around any more. This entrancing song was an emotional ballad which was delivered at a steady pace. It’s lyrics were impeccable and it is a track that I completely adored.

It was then onto something I thought had been retired and this being Guns & Horses. Ellie took to her acoustic guitar to sing this wonderful pleasing tune. Everyone was literally singing along to this especially to its chorus. This is a fantastic song and I do miss early Ellie Goulding when she played acoustic guitar. “So this song was actually also one of the 1st songs I wrote for Halcyon. This song is very special to me for a number of reasons” Goulding mentioned before I Know You Care. This featured in the film Now Is Good. It was actually a break up ballad which was both slushy and mellowing. My Blood was next up and this is actually Ellie’s favourite song from Halcyon. This was a stunning tune and you understand why it is Goulding’s favourite. My Blood was a beautiful ballad with a catchy hook and a sombre melody. “OK, it’s time for everyone to start moving a little bit now” Ellie said to the packed crowd before Only You. This tune easily gets you moving and the lyrics were really catchy. It also sounded like a chipmunk is singing parts of this number. Once over Goulding was frantically banging her drumskin that was in front of her, and the ending of Only You was infused to the beginning of Under The Sheets which was her début single. I even sang along to the infectious chorus. Anything Could Happen was the lead single from Halcyon and it followed on from Under The Sheets. When I first heard this I wasn’t sure about it, but I have found it to be a grower after having heard it plenty of times. The vibe was electro pop and it does sound different but it was delivered superbly. At the same time it was like a work out plus it was extremely infectious. Animal was delivered perfectly and it had a powerful chorus. This again gets you moving as I thought the beat was amazing. “This next song is about I suppose when you break up with someone or something similar and it is the worst time ever. And a year later everything is brilliant” Ellie said before Without Your Love. This tune was written with Starsmith and it had extremely contagious lyrics.

The set ended with Lights which was a powerful and catchy number. Plenty of people singing along to it. Once over Ellie and the rest of the band left the stage only for Chris and Ellie to return moments later for the encore which started with the beautiful take on the Elton John classic Your Song. It actual felt ideal for the December period as it was the John Lewis song which featured on the Christmas adverts back in 2010. I must say this take on this song was incredible. Chris was on piano and it came as no surprise everyone was singing along to this beautiful/ luscious song. Starry Eyed then ended the spectacular set. This tune oozed plenty of energy and has infectious verses and a powerful/ killer chorus.

SET LIST

Don’t Say A Word
Halcyon
Figure 8
Salt Skin
Hanging On/ Wonderman
Joy
Explosions
Guns & Horses
I Know You Care
My Blood
Only You
Under The Sheets
Anything Could Happen
Animal
Without Your Love
Lights

ENCORE

Your Song
Starry Eyed

OVERALL: This was the biggest Ellie Goulding show to date and I am glad I purchased a ticket. Goulding was amazing as always and I am in love with every single track that she performed from Halcyon. After seeing Ellie at both Jazz Cafe and Roundhouse I was hoping she would change the set. In a way she did by adding Without Your Love and Hanging On. I must say the combination of Hanging On and Wonderman was incredible.

As for Sons & Lovers I can see them going far and I most definitely will see them again in 2013.

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