Liane La Havas set forth on the empty Roundhouse to crank out an intimate set amidst a cozy household stage setting. Clearly this woman can sing and play her guitar. She’s impressive and slick. You would be forgiven for thinking she might be Sade’s much cooler younger sister, when generation-wise she would more likely could be her daughter. Her stylings were mellow and soulful despite the emptiness of the surroundings at the evacuated Roundhouse. It was a post-apocalyptic vibe, even though we’re still in the middle of the storm. We could only see the few glimpses of techs and camerapeople moving about.
No question Liane La Havas is talented and can deliver a powerful show. Check out her vids – she’s got the power and the moves. She’s gorgeous and composed in front of the mic. Yet, for £12 for an hour gig over the internet, some things were hitting ca-ching.
For £5 we could rent a 2-hour film or even get a month of Netflix. Mainly, for that kind of money, where was the band? For a big set-up and promotion from Wartner, it was a bit of a let down to see only a solo performer. We are all getting live stream fatigue and this was a chance to see a proper gig with a full band. Surely they could have spaced themselves out enough across the big Roundhouse stage. Better to rent a smaller space and have a bigger band.
But it also seemed odd not to mention the very pandemic which emptied the Roundhouse in front of her. It’s like we were are in some disjointed time where an empty venue is totally normal. Maybe I’m too partial to the Sintra/Springsteen monologues, but why dedicate a gig to BLM without any comments during the show? Isn’t the stage some type of soapbox to share at least some inspiration to the audience? No need to be boring about it, but at least deal with reality.
Can we really strip back the music so bare without context and charge people for it? It’s one thing to play for free in your bedroom, but for cash there should be more?
It was a chill set, but we were ready to receive something more energetic and inspiring — which no doubt she could have blasted out. She mentioned at the end her desire to get in front of a live audience — that could be awhile and we need to figure out something more engaging meantime.