Janet Devlin had always been my favourite on 2011’s edition of The X Factor. Even though she didn’t reach the final I always knew she would go far. Devlin announced that she wanted funding for her album through PledgeMusic (for this people pledget on exclusive items). As soon as it was announced that the Pledgers gig was taking place at The Troubadour I donated straight away (I would of pledged earlier but gigs such as this are confirmed at the last moment). This intimate showcase was an early one. Doors were at 7pm followed by a prompt Janet an hour later. I was then allowed into the downstairs venue 20 minutes prior to doors then picked my seat then waited for everything to start.
It was around 8.10pm, the band started to play and a couple of seconds after a blonde haired Janet Devlin burst on the stage sporting a black bowler hat. The set kicked off with Pick Me Up. This sweet sounding song was delivered to perfection. Devlin’s vocals are rather distinct (think of Diana Vickers but sweeter). Pick Me Up had been perfectly crafted and had lyrics that I found to be infectious (the chorus in particular). After plenty of applause it was then onto Creatures Of The Night which had a toe tapping beat. Janet’s vocals were strong and this had been perfectly written. Creatures Of The Night had a slight tempo along with contagious lyrics you want to move about to. “This next song is inspired by a relationship I was in for quite a while. This song personally means a lot to me because it was quite hard to write. Cos I was in that part of a relationship where you get to the stage where it kind of goes stalemate and you kind of think you’re not getting anything from staying in it. But you’re losing something by leaving it. It kind of hurts to go away but you have to just deal with it and move on” Devlin said to the intimate audience before introducing the next number as Crown Of Thorns. Now this song was incredible. I had previously had heard it on YouTube but just witnessing it live was quite something. The lyrics you can relate to and the vocals were simply perfect. My favourite part had to be its chorus which was packed with a punch. Once over it was then onto Nothing Left To Hide. Just the thought of hearing a studio version of this number excites me. Hearing it live I can say it was entrancing aided by spectacular mellowing lyrics. Overall this tune was extremely beautiful and I fully hope this appears on the forthcoming LP. “This one’s actually about leaving a relationship. So this is like the after Crown Of Thorns. It’s quite emotional for me to sing cos it’s just honest. This song is really really personal. Here’s a bit of my diary then” Janet mentioned to the audience before Walk Away. For this it was just Devlin and her keyboard player. Its lyrics were sweetly delivered and just by listening to them you can easily picture a story to it. There was a tinge of emotion and Walk Away was about accepting that it is time to end things even if you do think it is the wrong thing to do at first.
It was then onto Janet Devlin’s personal favourite and this being Working For The Man. The rest of the band had joined her back on the tiny stage. I rather enjoyed this song. The band gave it the extra edge and my favourite part had to be the upbeat chorus. Wonderful was next and Janet revealed that writing it was rather daunting as she is a fan is a fan of Newton Faulkner (who she wrote it with). Words fail me when it comes to describe this tune. Wonderful is a wonderful song. I found it to be light, breezy and cheery at the same time. Just hearing this song leaves you with a massive smile on your face. After plugging the September/ October tour and mentioning that this was just a snippet it was then onto a mash up that the composed. This was The Other Side/ We Found Love. The artists that Devlin was covering was Red Hot Chili Peppers infused with Rihanna. This combination worked wonders and Janet completely owned the songs. We Found Love is a song that you just want to have a dance along to. Even though it was lovely seeing Devlin performing original material it is always nice when she does covers. Once the Mash Up was done Janet then thanked everyone for pledging then went off stage leaving the band to play the outro.
Literally a matter of seconds had passed and Devlin took to the stage for what was to be the encore. For this final song Janet took to the guitar and powered through a spine tingling Stand By Me.
Pick Me Up
Creatures Of The Night
Crown Of Thorns
Nothing Left To Hide
Working For The Man
The Other Side/ We Found Love
Stand By Me
OVERALL: This was the first time I had witnessed Janet Devlin live and I am certainly sure it won’t be the last. From the material which was showcased it was enough to convince me to go to the London date later in September.
The songs were sweet sounded aided by Janet’s distinct vocals. Each track that was performed live were classics. Wonderful was simply amazing, Working For The Man had an infectious chorus and Walk Away was slightly emotional because of its topic of leaving someone.
Once over I decided to stick around in hope I would meet Janet. My decision to stay a little longer proved worthwhile as she interacted with her fans who pledged to fund her début album.