Now that Winter has really begun to set in, there is nothing like going to a gig to liven up the winter woes and warm yourselves up. And seeing MOBO award winner Laura Mvula live in Manchester’s Albert Hall was just the ticket.
We go to a lot of gigs, of all sorts of genres, shapes and sizes. And it is not often you appear at the venue and be shown to a general seating area (unless you buy a specific seat in a seated area). Which by us was thought as slightly odd as Laura Mvula is a lively performer and has a great aura about her. The audience is instructed on occasion to get up and dance (and get naked if that’s to ones liking).
Supporting is Olivier St Louis, a great find. Along with having a incredible look and putting on a fascinating act. Originally from Washington DC, he spent his childhood living and studying in the UK countryside, but now lives in Berlin. He is certainly an intriguing character. A special performance from him and his band consisted of breaking the music rules on the beats and rifts, mixing them up with his own style and influences from hip hop, garage, British rock to RnB. He has a sexy sound and contagious energy. We would certainly expect to see him make an appearance on a show like A unique artist to say the least. His EP, Black Music is out now – absolutely worth listening to and seeing him live!
There is certainly a silent buzz of excitement for Laura Mvula to come on stage, as her band start performing and warming up the audience for then Laura to appear on stage holding her glowing white keytar named Nina Simone, emphasising her musical influences.
One of the first things she mentions is why such a formal seating arrangement?! “It’s not my vibe, get up and dance, run around naked if you wish, whatever goes!”
She has an unbelievable voice, which shines through constantly at the best of times. The audience were in for such a treat when she performs one song a cappella, and in such a majestical way the crowd are mesmerised and completely enchanted by her voice as if under a spell. Especially being in a venue like Albert Hall, it truly is something special to hear.
Laura comes across as a strong woman onstage, considering she suffers from stage fright, you would never know! She gives a fantastically confident performance, and is certainly not one to shy away from sharing her life experiences which reflect in her music. One being of heartbreak which comes across strongly in Kiss My Black Ass. A song men and women can relate to in terms of a breakup song. A strong essence of song writing comes from love – whether it be telling the story of heartbreak or blossoming love stories. It is the strongest emotion we all have, and other feelings like anger, hurt, happiness and excitement all stem from that raw passionate feeling.
Laura is also one with strong family values, she tells the audience about her Nan and how she won’t leave Birmingham or watch programmes like Strictly Come Dancing, but says she loved Laura on Songs of Praise. Which of course causes the audience to chuckle. And having her siblings around her as part of the band and support makes her tours and gigs more enjoyable. She is a track full of rich and distinctive sounds consisting of her brother’s cello, her sister’s bass, the keyboard, guitar and drums. Bringing it altogether to make a varied sound for “all the women out there in the audience”.
Laura and her band are a fantastic show, it’s no wonder why she’s in popular demand and performing on well-known shows like Jools Holland’s Later and Strictly Come Dancing. A live performance that’s special, entertaining and loved by people of all ages. Laura Mvula is as successful as she is because of her likeable personality as well as her super talented lyrics and vocals.