“Eh-LIE! Eh-LIE!” Who’s number one in the UK album charts? “Eh-LIE! Eh-LIE!” Weren’t Crystal Swing on the Late Late Show this week? “Eh-LIE! Eh-LIE!” You know it’s Mother’s Day, yeah? “Eh-LIE! Eh-LIE!”… If the crowd at the previous night’s Passion Pit gig in the Olympia (where Ellie allegedly played a stormer) was like a teenage disco, then the crowd at her headline gig in the Academy on Sunday night was like a 6-year-old’s birthday party after all the fizzy jellies have been devoured.
I didn’t see her support slot in the Olympia on Saturday – having arrived a bit late after unexpectedly getting some free ticket action – but was content with seeing Passion Pit continue their run of fine performances here with another irresistable set full of energy and reciprocated enthusiasm. Even the blatant pandering of having a drummer wearing an Irish rugby jersey while covering The Cranberries’ “Dreams” can be excused when the gig is that good. I’d find it hard to say whether Ellie Goulding surpassed the Boston boys with her show on Sunday night. I’ve not been entirely won over by the album though it’s certainly more than a decent effort for a debut from a very young artist. I imagine if Lights had appeared from nowhere in it’s current form, we’d all be falling over each other trying to find superlatives to lavish upon it. But the pressure of being this year’s hotly tipped newcomer seems to be having a good effect on her as evidenced by her focused and hugely confident performance.
She meant business and, with minimal attempts to communicate over the giddy din created by the crowd, her compact set packed a fair bit of punch. “Under The Sheets” was a highlight as was her acoustic cover of Midlake’s “Roscoe” before finishing with mega-calling card “Starry Eyed” and letting everyone go home at a respectable hour for a Sunday night (though the more avid fans most likely followed her into Twisted Pepper for a bit of uncomfortable gushing). Special mention should also go out to her support act, Planet Parade, who really took full advantage of their opportunity playing to a busy room. The three lads from Kildare grabbed the attention of a crowd who didn’t seem all that interested when they came on first. They were playing to a pop audience and they were aware of that. Their set started brightly with indie-pop tunes of the variety that ubiquitous northerners Two Door Cinema Club have been so succesful with, though here it was infused with a bit of Vampire Weekend sensibility. The sound the three-piece made was big and tight and the singer’s vocals are impressive. Towards the end of their set, things started to sound a little less original with songs that were a bit derivative of bands like The Redneck Manifesto, Foals and even The Police. Definitely ones to watch though and with gigs like these coming their way, they should be moving onwards and upwards at some speed.