Following a sweet, breathy rendition of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’, a couple at the front of the stage call out for Ellie Goulding’s attention; they have a message for her that she can’t quite hear. “What… you got engaged, congratulations!” The happy news is greeted with excitement by the audience and is celebrated by the keyboard player who jokingly starts playing the wedding march. Ellie seems honoured to witness the surprise announcement.
Earlier tonight, at exactly 9:15, Goulding took to the stage launching directly into ‘Don’t Say a Word’. A black glitter-encrusted drum and drum machine are positioned at the front of the stage for bouts of solo drumming throughout the show. The audience is immediately on board as the set continues with ‘Halcyon’ and ‘Figure 8’, the chorus of which is chanted throughout the venue. During the outro she even pulls off an air-guitar solo that isn’t completely cringe-worthy. “You’re a very polite audience”, she says. The crowd responds with a loud cheer as if offended by the accusation.
The piano ballads ‘Joy’ and ‘Explosions’ seem like an abrupt change of pace but the pitch perfect high notes make both beautiful to listen to. Strapping on a guitar, her acoustic version of ‘Guns and Horses’ is a highlight, with the audience sounding surprisingly in tune during the chorus. “The sweat, this bloody hair” she says while fixing the long blond mane which she fiddles with constantly throughout the performance. “The sweat” is the result of her high energy performances of up-tempo numbers like ‘Under the Sheets’ and the bubblegum pop hit ‘Anything Could Happen’, during which we are all invited to jump.
There’s no doubt the girl works her ass off on stage, the tribal percussion and house inspired hook of ‘Without Your Love’ gives way to Carribean-style hip rolling while during the techno-influenced ‘Animal’ Goulding encourages constant waves of movement within the audience. While it’s unfortunate that at times the big beat tracks almost swallow her delicate, husky vocal, the atmosphere remains fantastic. Her voice, although beginning to sound overworked, carries off ‘Starry Eyed” and ‘Lights’ as the encore pleasing her fans. Overall, an energetic and captivating performance by the UK electro-pop pixie.
Main image by Debbie Hickey. You can find more images of Ellie Goulding and Charli XCX from Sunday’s gig here.