Live Review: Eliza - Scala, London 14/03/2019
There’s a buzz amongst the Thursday night crowd catching up after a weekend of work and discussing the show ahead. With the singer’s proud pro-love and confidence message that comes across in the music, it’s no surprise that the people who have come to see her are predominantly female or people in couples who passed the time dancing to the rap/trap music.
With such a diverse group of people in one venue, I wonder how many people are Eliza Doolittle fans and how many are fans of ELIZA. With a delay on Eliza getting on stage, part of the crowd broke into a short-lived chant of her name, to no avail. There seemed to be a few hiccups in starting things off, but once Eliza finally came on stage there was no stopping her.
After much anticipation Eliza came on stage dressed like Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean with her torn rags. She opened with ‘Game’ then went into ‘All Night’ which, in the choruses, was played in an octave higher by the bassist, to fill the lack of a guitar player. “Hello London Town, wow. [...] Thank you so much for being here. Shall we take it a little bit down and dirty?”
Eliza introduce ‘Lovable’ and then went on a tangent about how “love is the most important thing in the world” [...] “even if we need to escape to places like tonight to get away from it all, it’s okay. We need it”. The crowd were hanging on her every word. ‘Livid’ was incredibly well received and saw Eliza continue the little dance breaks with her backing singers, before bringing on Jesse James Solomon for their rendition of ‘Don’t Make Me’.
The evening was all about love and interaction. “Is anybody here falling in love tonight?” Eliza invited the crowd to “look at each other for a second; deep in the eyes — you don’t have to touch” before going into ‘Putting Out The Fire’ and ‘Wide Eyed Fool’ and getting the crowd to sing back ‘forever a wide-eyed fool’. She messed around with operatic sounds and what seemed like vocal warm-ups, seeing if the crowd would actually sing them back to her, before collapsing into giggles at the spectacle she had created.
Next came ‘All Night’ where Eliza asked the crowd to “turn up for this one” and the jostling heads seemed to say that they were happy to oblige. The crowd sang and danced so hard that Eliza became emotional and worried that she wouldn’t be able to sing the next song, which was her last. She announced that she would be in the studio tomorrow (Friday) to record new songs and made it clear that the crowd made her feel like a happy hippy and that they should bring this kind of energy wherever they go.
If anyone has seen Eliza’s session on Colours performing ‘Wasn’t Lookin’, it’s no surprise that she chose this song to end her set. Many people saw this song as the one they would record for the evening and it did not disappoint. Her sultry voice and cheeky grin was perfectly in place to the lyrics that tell the story of unexpected lust turning into something more. She closed the song by introducing the band and letting them each have a solo.
After re-inventing herself as ELIZA and playing her biggest homecoming show with this set of songs, she truly has shown that whilst she’s had a music career for quite a long time; Eliza is only scratching the surface of her capabilities.
Words by Tyler Damara Kelly
Photography by Ant Adams