Sophie Delila & Hayley Collins | Live Review

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Words: Simon Roach

Those in attendance at the Louisiana this Sunday evening may not have anticipated just how much of a treat they were in for. London’s finest (and Paris-born) Sophie Delila was in town to support her forthcoming album ‘My Life Could Use a Remix’ – The Louisiana, 19th May.

Before Sophie took to the stage, we were gifted by the support of local artist Hayley Collins. Softly spoken and quiet as a mouse Hayley introduced herself then quickly delved into a staccato-styled piano piece entitled ‘The Scientist and The Sailor’. Her catchy, upbeat piano was complimented perfectly by her breathy tone of voice, capturing the spirit, and somewhat reminding me, of Regina Spektor. This being a very good thing. In contrast to her first song, Hayley then toned down for a brooding, slower piece. Showing off her exquisite lyrical skills with some thought provoking, poetic verses. She then proceded to unveil other gems of her own material including ‘The Way You Are’, ‘Our Hands’ and ‘Not What the Doctor Ordered’. Tracks that showed off her versatility, originality and unquestionable talent, making it near-on impossible to pigeon hole her into any specific category as a performer.

As her set unfolded, particularly in ‘The Way You Are’, she showed off her range and vocal ability, mixing perfectly clean vocals with soulful raspy outbursts. To add to the kudos of a great set she threw in a cover of a personal favourite, Tom Waits, giving her rendition of ‘Chocolate Jesus’ which she delivered with style. To end her set she played an original song from her current EP ‘Forbidden Fruit’. A top set from some true, local talent, the only bad thing about the set was that I wish more people could have been there to hear her.

The first surprise of Sophie Delila’s set was imediate, as the house music faded, she wasn’t on stage, the band kicked into ‘If I Should Die Tonight’ and for a few bars there was no sign of the Parisian singer. Then in rockstar fashion she burst through the crowd and into this electro-indie rock, feel good anthem. This was the second surprise, I was under the impression that she would be performing solo and that we were in for a much more somber evening, to my satisfaction this was not the case. Sophie performed mainly new material from her forthcoming album ‘My Life Could Use a Remix’. The presence of the backing band made the set a lot more rock n roll than anticipated as the bass heavy group beefed up the performance as they ploughed through original material such as ‘Bound to Fall’, ‘In My Bed’ and ‘Start a Party’. ‘What Did I Do’ is the new single from the album which was executed beautifully for a crowd of eager listeners, heartfelt lyrics and a flawless vocal performance that really hit home.

Another surprising and endearing thing about Sophie was her monologues between songs, where she poured out her heart about issues or incidents that had clearly affected her in the past and influenced her to write songs, such as the album’s title song ‘My Life Could Use a Remix’. Speaking of troubles in life, broken relationships and lost friends, you would automatically assume the songs to follow would be of a more somber nature, however the pieces attatched to these accounts were upbeat feel good songs, that truly leave me waiting in anticipation for her album release.

As a unique, original end to her set she introduced us to her loop board, where she created a backing track of percussion sounds in which she jammed out to in a reprise of her opening track ‘If I Should Die Tonight’. An original way to end a brilliant set by a powerhouse of a singer that deserves to be heard.