The Concorde 2 in Brighton was to host something spectacular. This being BANKS who is set to be big. With the Fall Over and London EP’s to her name saw BANKS was nominated in the BBC Sound Poll of 2014. She came 3rd in that poll and it comes as no surprise as the music that is produced is literally phenomenal. Jillian Banks, simply known as Banks, is an American singer-songwriter who supported The Weeknd internationally last year. This was the first time I had witnessed her live and I was really looking forward to it as the London EP is incredible. Doors were at 6.30pm which is early so the thought of getting home early was a nice prospect. Doors were then pushed back to 7.30pm which was slightly annoying. I arrived around 3pm thinking it is a weekend kids are bound to be queuing but it turned up I was the only one there. Ticket holders started to turn up around 6 and very few knew about the change of the door opening times. Maybe this was due to the fact there was no support which was slightly annoying because everyone started to filter in at 7.30pm and BANKS was on 80 minutes later.
The extraordinary set consisted of songs from both EP’s, a couple of covers and some new cuts. What opened things up was Fall Over track Before I Ever Met You which also served as the first ever Banks single. Jillian’s vocals were flawless and this was very R&B with added electronic beats. This was extremely danceable but the white lights behind BANKS were blinding. In the back of my mind I was thinking I hope this doesn’t continue throughout the set because I could barely keep my eyes open. It was then onto something from the London EP and this being This Is What It Feels Like. Now this was extremely sythy and the vocal delivery gave sent shivers up my spine. In fact it had been perfectly produced and This Is What It Feels Like was a slinky number which sounded amazing. Following on was a bit of Change and this by far is my favourite BANKS track. Now this featured on the London EP and just hearing it performed live was something special. First of all it was sombre and secondly it was the vocals which were at the forefront. Gone were the electronic beats and what was showcased was something uplifting and mesmerising.
Straight after it was onto the newest BANKS single and this being Brain which proved to be a crowd pleaser as many people were singing along. This number started off being sung at a steady pace then as the song progressed that was when Jillian went full throttle by belting out the rest of this outstanding track. It was then onto a song which was special to Banks and this being a new cut which will no doubt feature on the upcoming LP and this being Goddess. I must say this was extremely promising and it makes me want the LP now. Goddess had been perfectly written and it was played at a steady pace. The lyrics were sheer perfection and infectious at the same time. Bedroom Wall was literally amazing and hypnotic at the same time. The vocals were soft and you had the beats as well. Nearing the end everyone erupts into applause only the song had not finished. Again this was something from the London EP and I find it to be one that grows on you the more times you hear it. What came next was something different and this being Fall Over. What made it different was the fact Jillian was on the keyboard for this wondrous slowie. The moment she got of the keyboard that is when it became more powerful. I must say this cut was completely enchanting and infused to the ending was Warm Water which was special because it was completely acoustic. It was just Bank’s extraordinary vocals and someone was playing an acoustic guitar. This was an uplifting love song and it went down well with the whole crowd who chanted away to the lyrics. Are You That Somebody was out of this world. It was an Aaliyah cover and Jillian did it complete justice. It was the pristine vocals which were at the forefront and this was one sleek song which was delivered to perfection. Waiting Game which was the 3rd single and taken from the London EP was the next cut performed live. This was a beautiful song which was very hypnotising. There was even small technical hitch where everything fell silent for a split second. But Jillian prevailed and delivered this stunning song faultlessly. This then came to an end with yet another new cut which will no doubt feature on the debut LP later this year. The song in question was Stick which had been well produced and just hearing it live was quite something. Stick was super catchy and it was a number that gets you completely hooked. Everyone then vacated the stage only to return moments later for an encore. This being yet another cover this time it was from The Weeknd a band which Jillian supported last year. The song in question being What You Need. I have never heard the original before but judging from the crowds reaction it was pretty good. This oozed plenty of attitude and it capped off what had been one hell of a night. I only wish I had a ticket for the Koko shows.
Before I Ever Met You
This Is What It Feels Like
Warm Water (Acoustic)
Are You That Somebody
What You Need
OVERALL: I always knew BANKS was amazing but I never expected to have my mind blown the first time I witnessed her live. Each track performed was pure perfection. My favourite had to be Change and also the new ones were rather sweet as well. I left Concorde 2 on a high after witnessing something spectacular. It was all over by 9.30pm and being from London it was nice to be back home before midnight. It actually makes me wish I had tickets for one of the two dates at the Koko.
Banks is most definitely an artist I will see some point in the future. Whether if it will be a festival or when the album tour is announced I do not know. Jillian Banks is one for the future and her star is shining bright.