WORTH A LOOK?: *****
WHERE? Hoxton Hall
SETLIST: Glow; Glorious; We Got Love; Yours: Bones; Young; Glitterball; This Is Real; Friends; Brave; Ghost
Ella Henderson is at the piano introducing new song Bones reflecting on seeing a large backside in a magazine and realising it was her own.
- Read on for reasons including how Jax Jones appeared here as a surprise guest
It’s a moving song about accepting your flaws and one which her manager thinks wisely best represents the real 23-year-old who topped the charts with her first album Chapter One five years ago.
She chose to play her first gig for years in this east London performance arts theatre and community centre because of its intimacy and it’s a decision which reaps huge rewards as Ella unveils a string of impressive new songs intertwined with her hits.
Ella is currently in the top 20 of the singles charts with a song, This Is Real (watch below), that she co-wrote with family friend and ‘fierce DJ’ Jax Jones who also makes a surprise appearance on stage with her tonight.
Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills is also here and it’s the bangers delivered by the five-strong band, including new single with Sigala We Got Love, which seem most likely to be aired on the station.
There’s a lot of dancing in the audience on the venue’s ground floor where we are and Ella’s audience seems predominantly made up of young gay male couples from where we are standing.
We last saw Ella four years ago at 02 Shepherds Bush Empire and wrote:
‘The first thing you notice about Ella is just what a strong voice she has. Secondly, she’s clearly writing about herself and her experiences and it is in this respect that you expect that her next album will be even more successful because she will have much more life experience to draw on.
‘Tackling a slowed-down version of Cher’s Believe at the piano towards the end of the set, it is clear what an underrated song that is and what a great musician Ella is – and also what songwriting potential she has yet to unlock.
‘Her biggest hit Ghost sends everyone home happy and the suspicion that we might have just been entertained by someone with the potential of a young Adele looms large.’
Ella does an impromptu meet and greet after the gig at the merchandise stall and the queue for it snakes around much of the venue.
We didn’t realise when we last saw her quite what a wait it would be for the Chapter Two era but the sentiments from our earlier review still very much ring true and we can’t wait to join her on that ride.