September 2012 saw the talented Lauren Aquilina announce her first headline tour. The three day jaunt would start off in London, then to Bristol and then ending up in Manchester. As I rate Aquilina highly I booked my ticket straight away when the pre sale was announced. Since when the tickets went on sale Lauren released her début EP Fools which featured 4 sublime tracks (Lilo, King, Wonder and title track Fools which has been getting plenty of exposure) and she has also supported Gabrielle Aplin.
I arrived at Surya 4 hours before doors opened at 7.30pm. My reason for turning up that early was down to the fact everyone who had purchased pre sale tickets would be able to have access to the sound check at 5.30pm. So I thought there may have been a couple more people outside the venue. This wasn’t the case though. When the time came for Lauren to do her sound check only 5 other people were there. We were then taken downstairs where we witnessed Aquilina performing her mash up of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face with Gotye’s Somebody I Used To Know as well as a take on Coldplay’s Yellow with Bryce who had flown in from Miami to sing with Lauren. After the sound check had finished we were all taken upstairs, Lauren gave us all a signed poster then we all went outside.
It had just gone 9.40pm when Lauren made her entrance onto the raised stage. Things then kicked off with something that is not even on the recent Fools EP and this song being Drag Me Down. It oozes folkness and the vocals were both powerful and sweet. Even though it was played at a steady pace Drag Me Down had been superbly written and had top notch lyrics. “Hi London. How you doing? I think some of you may know this one” Aquilina then said to the packed out audience. This being Lilo and it is the only Lauren song to feature the one swear word “I’m just so f**ked up in the head”. Lilo was played at a steady pace plus it was delivered strongly and was mesmerising at the same time. “Thank you for coming. Thank you for leaving the internet” Lauren humbly said before embarking onto Expectations. This number was actually a co write with the wonderful Miss Orla Gartland. This gentle keyboard driven song sounded rather lovely. The lyrics were fantastic and it is telling you that she doesn’t know which path to take. It is actually about University and she doesn’t feel ready for it and has chosen another path. Aquilina may say that she cannot live up to the expectations but she can because Lauren has something incredibly special. “This is my first ever headline show. I was sat back there like 7.30 I was like ready to go on ‘cos I’m always the support act. Yeah man 9.30 rock and roll” Aquilina then mentioned before a brand new tune called Fear. It was actually a promising track and I am itching to hear the recorded version. Fear was a superb song which was faultlessly delivered with plenty of gusto. It was then onto another track from the EP and this being King. Now the melody is entrancing and the lyrics fit to it perfectly. As for the song it had been perfectly delivered and the thing I like is that you can picture what is actually happening through its lyrics. I adored the sublime lyrics which were really infectious. “This next one is not such a positive one” Aquilina then said which resulted in some sniggers. The title of this brand new song was Talk To Me and it was packed with a punch. You could tell that Lauren put everything into this and it resulted in being something utterly brilliant. “How do you feel about that song? It goes a bit like powerhouse on the vocals. I feel like Beyonce or something. Except no one can be Beyonce.” Lauren said before revealing it was an EP contender as it had achieved the thumbs up from the audience. “This next song is what I call my Sass Song. It’s about when you’re happy to break up with someone. I feel like a cold hearted bitch man” Aquilina then said before Square One. This was one flawless song which had stunning lyrics. This song had appeared on Lauren’s YouTube at the end of January and it has had a positive response. Square One has to feature on the next EP. “I did a competition on Facebook a few months ago” Lauren then said before introducing Bryce who had won the chance to duet with her. Bryce had flown in from Miami. What they sung was an tremendous take on Coldplay’s Yellow. Like Aquilina Bryce Drew Anderson is a talented singer who has a handful of original and covers on Soundcloud. At only 17 Bryce’s vocals were quite something and they complimented Lauren’s. “This may or may not be my last song” Aquilina said before thanking everyone for attending. What she signed of with was Wonder or I Wonder (If You Wonder About Me Too) as it was originally called before the Fools EP was released. I found this song to be rather emotional because yet again it is telling a story of unrequited love. Once over Lauren left the stage only to return moments later for the much expected encore. “This is something different” Aquilina said before a mash up of Pokerface and Somebody That I Used To Know. I must say this was incredible plus there was the use of a loop pedal. The evening then came to an end with the title track of the EP and this was Fools. It was the first time I had heard this performed live and it sounded brilliant and infectious as well. Fools was also delivered at a fast pace.
Drag Me Down
Talk To Me
Pokerface/ Somebody That I Used To Know
OVERALL: All in all this was one phenomenal evening which featured support by both Billy Lockett and Saint Raymond. I enjoyed every single minute of the material which was showcased.
As for Lauren Aquilina words cannot describe how talented she actually is. The fact Aquilina writes her own material gives her major plus points in my book. Not only were tracks from Fools showcased but Lauren also previewed material that could well feature on EP #2. Also the mash up of Lady GaGa and Lana Del Rey was simply WOW!!!