BY PELLE GUNTHER An ocean away from our dear Lady Gaga and “T-Swift” another pop storm is brewing in the form of England’s Ellie Goulding. She’s a killer combination of cute, charming, and unbelievably talented. Small wonder she won the BBC’s “Breakthrough Act” award as well as “Critics Choice” at the BRIT Awards (a feat only achieved once before — by Adele in 2008.) With two releases to date, Lights and Bright Lights, she has already had several songs in the UK top 40, and just embarked on her first American tour. Upon listening to her albums the pretentious hipster in us all might say Ellie’s songs are overproduced and cheesy…but isn’t that the point? Its dance pop, after all.
Unfortunately our night at the World Café started off with the band Knocks, whose 40-minute set consisted of them playing famous songs by other people and laying down dance beats over them. It’s like mashing only lazier — much, much lazier. To make things worse they continually attempted to hype the crowd into dancing by prancing around the stage yelling the classic “Lets get some dancing up in here” and “Come on with me!!!” Thankfully, Knocks’ set was mercifully brief and next up was lady we all came to see.
Ellie’s band hit the stage and laid down an intro before the blonde songstress appeared in her skimpy Sgt. Pepper-inspired jacket to rock out on a tom and cymbal arranged by her mic. It was hard to take your eyes off her, and judging from the vocal response of some of women around me it’s safe to say they all had at least a brief moment of bi-curiousness — or jealousy, as their husbands went slack-jawed and gawked stupidly at the pretty little songstress.
Her band was ridiculously well put together, smooth and refined. Even though they were playing simplified versions of her songs, they sounded incredible, if not altogether better than the overproduced radio bullshit of the recordings. Mid set the band left the stage and Ellie sang the beautiful cover of Elton John’s “Your Song,” which has been pwning the English charts and is hands down her biggest hit she’s had to date. She’s one of those artists whose recordings don’t really connect with me, and yet, in a concert setting, every one of her songs capture your attention and you invariably find yourself completely entranced by her vocals. Her set and stage show we’re very lackluster, Ellie dancing her one pop move while everyone else tinkered around on keyboards samplers and drums. However, the music itself was energetic and creative enough to make up for any lack of visual excitement. And, after a full night of dancing, we all left with a full heart and a crush on a beautiful blonde Brit. What more could a man ask for?