Chloe Howl @ Topshop, Oxford Circus 11th December 2013

Once 6.30pm arrived Brit Critics Choice and Sound Poll nominated Chloe Howl took to the stage that was made especially for her. Wearing a chequered White jacket and what looked like a Green latex mini skirt it was then straight into Rumour. Now this set was fully acoustic which was a right treat. What I adored was the storytelling lyrics, actually there were multiple storylines throughout which was followed by the line “Perhaps it’s just a rumour”. This was superbly delivered and Chloe’s vocals reminded me of an early Kate Nash.

“Hi everyone. My name’s Chloe Howl” she then said to the audience before launching into the newest single and this being Paper Heart. This was a lot gentler compared to the versions that I have heard in the past. Mainly because the fact it was fully acoustic. I found this to be rather smooth and infectious as well. The perfectly written Paper Heart was hypnotic and has to be one of my favourite Howl songs. “We’re going to do a cover now” Chloe then announced before Millionaire which was originally by Kelis. All I can say about this is the fact it was vocally stunning. Howl made this her own and put her own stamp on it. Chloe’s take on this was rather pacey and upbeat as well. “Thanks for coming everyone” a humble Howl said before diving straight into No Strings. This stunning tune featured on the Rumour EP and it sounded phenomenal live. No Strings was Howl’s breakout hit and had lyrics that will make you smirk. Ending the short and sweet set was Last Christmas by Wham. With this being the festive season I really enjoyed this. Last Christmas was a fun song aided by infectious lyrics which you just want to sing along too. The vocal delivery was brilliant. Tackling such an iconic song can be risky some people like it, some people wont. The original version will always be the best but I really liked Chloe’s version as well which made me feel Christmassy. They really should make it compulsory that every artist/ band must sing a Christmas song or two if they are playing in December.

SET LIST

Rumour
Paper Heart
Millionaire
No Strings
Last Christmas

OVERALL: Chloe Howl is a talent to behold and it was nice to see her before her headline gig at Dingwalls which is now taking place at the end of February. It was unfortunate that she did not win Critics choice and it was a complete shock Sam Smith won. I thought it was either Chloe or Ella Eyre.

Howl has something extremely special as I completely adore the music that she sings. The three originals which were sung this evening was just the tip of the ice berg as there are plenty more brilliant songs of hers. Plus the cover of Last Christmas was appropriate as I started to feel Christmassy. I have to say the original will always be better, but Christmas is a time for fun and I enjoyed it immensly.

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