Gabriella Cilmi @ St Pancras Old Church 8th April 2013

St Pancras Old Church was the setting for the comeback by Australian songstress Gabriella Cilmi. It had been 3 years since I last saw Cilmi perform an acoustic set at Covent Garden. Even though it was billed as being a standing gig, seats were laid out when the doors had opened. Now I dislike seated gigs but seating was ideal for this intimate event.

Around 9pm Gabriella took to the stage to showcase brand new material and play a few classics as well. First up it was a brand new track and this being Symmetry. Cilmi immediately launched into it as soon as she stepped onto the intimate stage. Now I really liked this and it shows a lot of promise of what to expect from the forthcoming 3rd LP. Symmetry was an infectious tune and showed that Cilmi had gone back to the same style which appeared on début album Lessons To Be Learned. “Before we start I just wanna say thank you for coming to the 1st show of what feels like I’ve played in ages” Cilmi mentioned to the intimate audience before Don’t Look Back. This was sung at a steady pace and the huskiness was still there. Gabriella’s vocals were superb and she delivered this wonderful number to perfection. After Cilmi mentioned she was feeling bad due to standing on someone’s grave it was then onto Not Sorry. Now this is a song which grows on you. This tune had been perfectly written and the vocals were pitch perfect. Gabriella made use of the acoustics of the church and powered through this track. Plenty of applause followed which then lead into the current single Sweeter In History. This was offered as a free download and it was a complete cracker. It cements her return to the music industry. Cilmi sailed through this at ease and there were traces of both soul and rock which infused together to create something sublime plus it was aided by Gabriella’s smoky vocals. “This is an oldie” Cilmi said referencing Sanctuary which appeared on the debut Lessons To Be Learned. Even this tune is 6 years old (it was the first single released in 2007) it still completely hypnotises me. Everything about this was amazing the lyrics, the middle 8, the vocals and melody were simply flawless. Sanctuary is an infectious number as well and you just want to sing along to it.

“You guys alright by the way?” Gabriella said before introducing the next tune as Parallel Universe. This was superb and Cilmi belted out the vocals. There was a soulful vibe which worked wonders. I really hope this makes the cut and appears on the 3rd LP. “There’s no way of sitting comfortably in this dress. Can you feel the holy vibes?” Cilmi then told the audience whilst sitting down for the next number of the evening and this being Left With Someone Else. Eventually she got up to deliver a flawless performance of this tune. It was very infectious with stunning verses and an incredible/ powerful chorus. It was definitely a song that can get you moving easily. It was then onto a power ballad and this being Love Me Cos You Want To. This sombre tune sounded ever so beautiful and is the highlight from her 2nd LP Ten. This number was actually co written with the incredibly talented Miss Ellie Goulding. Cilmi was backed with a piano arrangement which made it very entrancing and light. It was then onto Vicious Love which sounded outstanding. I had heard this last year when it was posted on her YouTube. Just hearing it being performed live was quite something. Lyrics were brilliant and contagious as well. “I wrote this next tune with Tricky in Paris. It was a very interesting experience” Gabriella then revealed before getting stuck into Highway. In this number Cilmi says that she lost her dreams along the highway. Just like Symmetry this tune offered plenty of promise. The vocals were faultless and it had been perfectly written. You might of heard this one before” Gabriella then told the audience before Sweet About Me. This was the final old song to feature in the set and I must admit this tune is a complete killer with outstanding verses and a chorus you feel compelled to sing along to. “This next tune is the last one we’re going to play for you tonight. But thank you very much for coming. I hope to see you at more gigs in the future. Hopefully coming up soon” a humble Gabriella Cilmi said before ending with the fantastic The Sting.

SET LIST

Symmetry
Don’t Look Back
Not Sorry
Sweeter In History
Sanctuary
Parallel Universe
Left With Someone Else
Love Me Cos You Want To
Vicious Love
Highway
Sweet About Me
The Sting

OVERALL: It was a pleasure just to see the talented Gabriella Cilmi performing once again. St Pancras Old Church is such a lovely venue and it makes gigs with artists that you love extremely special because of the intimacy.

Even though an encore wasn’t forthcoming (despite everyone glued in their seats hoping for one) what had been performed was a set full of corkers which have to feature on the next LP. It was even nice to hear old tracks Sanctuary, Sweet About Me and Love Me Cos You Want To performed in this setting. The acoustics in this church were extraordinary.

Even though Gabriella was nervous (as this was her first headline show for years) it seemed that she was more comfortable with what was being performed. For those not in the know even though her 2nd LP Ten features some fantastic tracks Gabriella was being moulded into something she wasn’t. Now that album had an electro feel to it and it was a lot different compared to material from the début LP.

Just hearing the new songs makes me excited for her future. Gabriella has always been a talented singer/ songwriter and the fact it seems as she feels more comfortable tells me that she is back. The fact that she has gone back to the same style that featured on Lessons To Be Learned tells me Cilmi is onto a winner.

Aside from all of that I liked the fact Gabriella came out and met fans that wanted items signed, photos and tell her how amazing the show was. It is extremely nice when the artist comes out and spends time with fans rather than just staying backstage until everyone else has left the venue.

To sum it up Gabriella Cilmi is well and truly back and I cannot wait until the day she announces more live dates.

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