I was surprised by the set which Sophie Ellis Bextor played. With a tour in April I would of thought that she would of saved performing some of the new tunes. But the word album launch was 100% true and Ellis Bextor performed the whole new record plus a few oldies towards the end of the set. I guess when April comes a few more oldies will slip in the set in place of some new ones. Sophie is playing 2 nights at Union Chapel so she can easily make differences to the set.
So what was on showcase was the whole album from front to back (well Interlude was sang right at the end of the set and When The Storm Has Blown Over was mid set). Taking to the stage wearing a white long sleeved dress Sophie Ellis Bextor and her wonderful band opened up with Birth Of An Empire. After having had Wanderlust on repeat I have grown to like this record. This tune was very Pop with the addition of violins and there was an Eastern European vibe to it. This is a song that grows on you because Sophie has put the Disco Pop aside. Birth Of An Empire was smoothly delivered. Straight after it was onto Until The Stars Collide. This was a beautiful ballad which was spectacular live. Like the opening number you also had strings that worked wonders. The album Wanderlust was written by Sophie and Ed Harcourt. Until The Stars Collide was one incredible number which had been written to perfection. It was then onto the forthcoming single and this being Runaway Daydreamer. This tune is literally incredible and it will make a perfect single. Runaway Daydreamer was strongly delivered and it was a whimsical but delicate Pop tune which easily hypnotises you. The Deer & The Wolf was amazing, Pop vibes oozed from it. In fact it was rather infectious and got me moving. The lyrics were spectacular and when it comes to releasing a 3rd single from Wanderlust it has to be this one.
“This next song was the first single” Sophie said before delving into Young Blood. Now this was the first song to be lifted from Wanderlust and was issued as a free download. Originally I heard this performed live back in 2012. It was what made me want to see her play at Union Chapel again. Young Blood was a beautiful ballad which was phenomenally delivered and it easily entrances you. I adored the addition of the strings. Ellis Bextor was backed by guitar for When The Storm Blows Over. There was an eerie silence throughout this lovely and mellowing tune it could have easily been delivered as an acapella. Sophie definitely has a strong vocal range to do so. 13 Little Dolls was very Rocky and Sophie sailed through this at ease. It was actually rather pacey. 13 Little Dolls made me think of the Russian dolls which live inside one another. Wrong Side Of The Sun was completely faultless and was then followed up by Love Is A Camera. Before the song Sophie said that Wanderlust had been independently released and how everyone on it was her first choice. Love Is A Camera was slightly eerie whilst the epic Cry To The Beat Of The Band ended what had been a spotless/ special evening.
The band then left the stage only for them to return moments later. This was the encore and the Disco Pop part of the evening. The 4 song encore started off with Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer). It was a Freemasons song which Sophie featured on. Also it featured on the 4th LP Make A Scene. Disco vibes oozed from this and it was strongly delivered. You just wanted to jump up and down to this incredible tune. Next it was onto a Medley of old Sophie songs (well 2 were originals and the other 2 were covers). First up you had Get Over You which had everyone singing the “ai ai ai” parts. This then morphed into Lady which was originally sung by Modjo then going straight into the Spiller track she featured on which was Groovejet before ending with a take on Moloko’s Bring It Back. Now this medley went down a treat with everyone who was in the audience. There was plenty of singing back to Groovejet. Things then ended with the 2nd ever Sophie single and this being Murder On The Dancefloor. This was so mesmerising and infectious at the same time. There certainly was no murder on this dancefloor. The song itself ended what had been a spectacular night which makes me anticipate when she is back in London. When Ellis Bextor left the stage I thought that was your lot. Sophie was making her way to what I had thought was the merchandise desk. Only that wasn’t the case. Sophie went to the back to sing the short interlude as an acapella. Richard Jones (the guitarist in Sophie’s band who is also her husband) had to get everyone to hush while Sophie sang this. Interlude was simply spine tingling.
Birth Of An Empire
Until The Stars Collide
The Deer & The Wolf
When The Storm Has Blown Over
13 Little Dolls
Wrong Side Of The Sun
Love Is A Camera
Cry To The Beat Of The Band
Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)
Murder On The Dancefloor
OVERALL: This was one extraordinary night. Just hearing the brand new album live was something incredibly special. Each song was a complete cracker and it makes me anticipate April even more. I literally cant pick a favourite track because they were all amazing.
It was nice having the chance to meet Sophie before the gig and it was a surprise when she went straight to the merchandise desk to sign for fans.