Live: Elli Ingram X Will Heard @ Bush Hall

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Admittedly, my friend Louise and I initially bought tickets for this gig to see Will Heard live again. We had both first heard him at Laughing Boy, a music and comedy night I've been to regularly over the years, and Louise totally fell in love with his voice so asked me (at repeated intervals) to let me know if I heard of him doing any more gigs. So when I found out he was supporting Elli Ingram at Bush Hall, we bought tickets pretty sharpish. One of the best things about discovering up and coming talent is how cheap the tickets are - we got these for £8 and I still remember going to see Ed Sheeran for a tenner at a pub in Balham before he blew up. Since Will was supporting this other artist, Louise and I decided we better check her out. And what a treat!

But first Will Heard. Despite having tuning problems with his guitar, he still delivered a raw, soulful performance. His throaty voice cuts right through you as he delivers songs that would be perfect played on a sun kissed beach (or in the garden more likely..this is England)

He seemed a little rushed on his cover of Drake's 'Girls Love Beyonce', I've seen him perform it better, but the chorus still got all the girls singing along.

Will's relaxed style is charming and he is clearly still developing so can still seem quite contained in his performance but he is clearly into his music which is infectious.

And then for Elli Ingram. Before she came out, some vintage-esque props were added to the set - I'm all for a strong aesthetic theme, so this went down well with me.

Brighton hailing 20 year old Elli has just signed to Island Records and she is probably about to be the next big British female vocalist. She moves with such ease on stage, grinding away clearly in tune with her womanly physique and sensuality; her stage presence is effortless. Very down to earth, she became more chatty with the audience as her set went on and confided in her girlish voice that she had thought her management were crazy for booking Bush Hall; she seemed genuinely shocked and humbled that it had sold out.

She is clearly influenced by R'n'B and hip-hop, from her incredible cover of Kendrick Lamar and Drake's Poetic Justice to her dark lipliner, and it works beautifully with her soulful, jazzy tone. Her voice floats languidly over the music and has drawn comparisons with Amy Winehouse, her lyrics full up with bad boys and drinking too much, another similarity. Personally I love a sweetly sung F bomb and Elli has plenty of them.

Her band were amazing - a huge double bass was brought out for tender ballad 'The River' and a saxophonist grooved over the tracks so sexily. Looking at the band screwing up their faces because they felt the music so much, around at the crowd clapping and singing along as Elli dipped it low and asked the audience why they were there if they didn't wanna party - it felt like I'd witnessed the birth of a star.

Shanika Says: Check out these hot new artists now!
Elli's EP's 'Sober' and 'The Doghouse' are available through her website


  1. This sounds like a great concert I'll have to check out Elli and Will!
    P.S I'm running a giveaway at the moment if you want to enter:) x
    The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe Giveaway

  2. it must be so good to be there! xx