Live Review: Mabel - O2 Brixton Academy, London 12/12/2018
It’s chilly – December and all; it doesn’t stop 5,000 eager ticket holders from braving the cold to see chart-resident Mabel sell-out O2 Academy Brixton. The room fills out relatively promptly for the sole support act of the evening: Ruel.
The young Australian is fervently popular with the front row of the crowd and he garners further admiration from the rest of the audience in the duration of his set. Accompanied by a trio of keys, backing vocals and drums, his singles “Don’t Tell Me” and “Younger” are received best by the ever-filling room. A charisma well beyond his years gives Ruel a brutal and stark potential – this boy is definitely one to watch since the room definitely seem to approve. Catchy sing-along choruses and a stage presence that elicits smiles all around has the venue in good spirits ahead of the headliner, Mabel.
Mabel enters to her most recent single, “One Shot”. Flanked by a troupe of backup dancers, nearly every line is returned to her by the captive audience. Choreographed to-a-T, the 22 year old’s set is executed well and has the crowd crying for more. With or without the sparkly jacket and boots, Mabel’s delivery is honest, strong and worthy of the 5000 tickets or more sold for this otherwise uneventful Wednesday night. She’s super humble to be playing such a large hometown show and makes sure that her audience knows it – the few times she pauses between tracks is to remind the crowd yet again how amazing it is to be performing in such a space. Chart-placing singles “Fine Line” and “My Lover” close Mabel’s set with the appearance of friend and guest vocalist Not3s. The two have a great chemistry that have given them success not only on the radio/tv/online platforms but live as well. Mabel’s encore of “Finders Keepers” also brings on Kojo Funds to round off the night in a sea of mobile phones, cameras and rapturous screaming from the crowd.
Words and Photography by Rhys Haberfield