SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR PLAY'S EDINBURGH QUEEN'S HALL
I first saw Sophie-Ellis Bextor at T in the Park back in 2014, her show at The Queens Hall had a completely different vibe. Her new album, ‘Familia’, could be described as a Latin heavy CHVRCHES and the songs she played from that album embodied that chilled out feel while still sticking roughly to the party attitude that Sophie so clearly has.
She came on with the first song from her new album, ‘Wild Forever’ and followed It up with the next two tracks in the order they appear on the album, ‘Death of love’ and ‘Crystallise’. Her interaction with the crowd was great, making a comment early on about feeling like we had started a party after only two songs. Personally I only felt the party started towards the end of the show but she had a large number of the packed crowd on her side from the very first note.
The majority of the set list contained a mixture of songs from her six studio albums, mainly sticking to her most recent two, and throughout I thought that her backing band were incredible. They replicated the sound of her recordings perfectly and never missed a beat. My personal favourite section being the two violin players/backing vocalists, as their harmonies on both the strings and with Sophie’s vocals were incredible.
The middle of the set slowed down a lot with all but the guitarist and Sophie leaving the stage to play some acoustic songs. Earlier in the day people were able to request songs by responding to a post put out on Sophie’s twitter page which was a nice touch and help get the remainder of the crowd on her side, especially with the inclusion of the Macarena.
On the way into the venue there were people with buckets collecting for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and as an amazing gesture Sophie, after telling us a heartfelt story of a fan she had previously met in Scotland that suffered from the disease, offered to personally match the amount that was collected out of her own pocket.
After the middle acoustic section and a few more songs from the latest album, ‘Unrequited and ‘Don’t Shy Away’ (the latter being a personal favourite) the real party began. A quick costume change and we were into the disco section of the set; this is what the crowd came to see. The set evolved into the same sort of non-stop party that I remembered from her much shorter T in the Park set back in 2014 and the atmosphere became similar too. It was here where she had more people start to dance and clap along, she even had almost the whole crowd bouncing in unison for the song ‘Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer)’. The medley included fan favourites such as, ‘Groovejet’ and ‘Sing It Back’ finishing of course with her smash hit ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ which was a pleasure to see live again.
Overall I would say that my night at The Queens Hall in Edinburgh was a fun one. Sophie’s performance and energy on stage was superb and her backing band were incredibly tight. The only thing I would say would add to the show would have been a brass section for the Latin inspired songs instead of the synth but aside from that I would definitely recommend you try and catch one of her shows if you get the chance in the future.
REVIEW BY: DESMOND JOHNSTON
SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR'S UK TOUR CONTINUES:
*21 FEBRUARY - IRONWORKS: INVERNESS, UK
*23 FEBRUARY - GORILLA: MANCHESTER, UK
*24 FEBRUARY - PICTURE HOUSE: HOLMFIRTH, UK
*25 FEBRUARY - WEDGEWOOD ROOMS: PORTSMOUTH, UK
*27 FEBRUARY - CONCORDE 2: BRIGHTON, UK
*28 FEBRUARY - THE TRINTY CENTRE: BRISTOL, UK
* 1 MARCH - KOKO: LONDON, UK