Laura Izibor shone brighter than her single Shine in a memorable set full of passion, talking (…more talking) and the results of a whole lotta song-writing.
With summer in London threatening to actually be sunny this year Ms. Izibor couldn’t have picked a better time to unleash her sound on the soul loving public. If this gig was anything to go by, I think this is one soulstress that may be sticking around for a little while.
At 22, her sound is mature and graceful for someone so young (young enough to complain about her age, “22 is so old,” she complains. Laura can be forgiven for feeling older than her years because during one of her ‘conversations’ we find out her record was floating around the industry for years before release!
She graced the stage in a flowing purple dress, incredibly high heels and a free-flowing afro and unusually chose to start with slow songs. A brave decision that worked well because when she struck up the band the groove was a little stronger and well worth the wait. The jaunty mid-tempo songs were great and the band fit together effortlessly communicating in harmony.
Renditions of album favourites, If Tonight Was My Last (the love song written with single people in mind), Don’t Stay (written when she did not know what love was) and Shine were infectious. An impromptu performance of Real Love (by Mary J. Blige) was even thrown in for good measure. The latter delivered with a child like glow and cheeky smile that let us know she was having as much fun as we were. The stand-out moment was when she sung a song that did not make the album called Gracefully. What followed was a majestic, free-flowing guitar led song that stands head and shoulders above most of the songs that made the album! When she finished to rapturous applause only one question rumbled around KCSU, “why oh why did this not make the album?” Laura, if you are reading this;
You must release this song… I need this record. Europe needs this record. Dammit the world needs this record!”
Her approach to live shows is refreshing with a brief (and sometimes not so brief) introduction before each to give you some history, and more importantly to remind you she writes her own songs.
Whilst full of the high standards the gig did seem to miss that signature something. I am certain this will come with time. A few more albums and we may have an artist to treasure. Just make sure you keep requesting cups of tea while you sing (yes she ordered a cup of tea in the middle of the set)!