Lianne La Havas at The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, 3rd December 2015
It was three years ago when Lianne La Havas released her debut album, with the follow up ‘Blood’ coming out earlier this year. Just as the fans had to wait then, anticipation built as La Havas and Co took their time to make their way to the stage. In both instances however, it was definitely worth the wait, as once she stepped on stage it was hard to take your eyes away.
Born to a Greek father and a Jamaican mother, La Havas started things off with an homage to her heritage with Green & Gold. The laid back number eased everyone in as she sang about her two cultural touchstones“Dreaming of the green & gold” of Jamaica and “the ancient stone” of Greece.
Some of her more jazz inspired ballads acted as palate-cleansers between some of the meatier songs. One such ballad Wonderful really showcased her versatility as a performer. Although she sang in her lower register, she showed a real vulnerability letting the crowd see behind the curtain. It was a poignant moment which really highlighted her maturity as an artist.
In reality you would have to be soulless not to be moved by her performance. There were some light hearted numbers in the set however, which gave the crowd a chance to breath. At times there was a playful energy to her performance that made sure things never got too heavy.
Like many great artists Lianne La Havas has a truly great voice, but it’s how she uses it that is the most impressive thing. Whether it was the sultry tones of Age or the howling chorus of Forget, she is someone who’s in complete control of her voice. It would mean nothing however if she wasn’t truly adept as a songwriter which she most certainly is.
This makes for a lethal combination and it’s what makes her such a captivating performer. On her new album she added a more soulful edge to her music, which really pays off in a live setting. It gives her a platform to really let loose and broaden her horizons as a performer. No longer is she just a promising talent with a lot of potential, she is an artist at the peak of her powers and someone who can only go higher.