It has been a pretty incredible 12 months or so for 22-year-old Londoner Dua Lipa. Her rise from relative unknown to major recording artist has come quickly, helped in no small part by an album packed with material that ranks among the most accomplished British pop music of recent years.
Her current ‘Self Titled’ tour – so named since her debut album is indeed self-titled – has seen her packing out venues around the UK with most dates sold out soon after going on sale. In Bournemouth, the clamour was clear, with the queue to get in going around the block. Once the show started, it became clear that the hype had plenty of substance behind it. Lipa was super-energetic, putting plenty of oomph into her performance throughout and transmitting that energy to the audience.
Her set saw her perform most of the tracks from her debut LP, including opener Hotter Than Hell, Blow Your Mind (Mwah), Be The One, and the collaborative tracks that have helped her raise her profile so effectively this year, namely Scared To Be Lonely, and No Lie.
This was a high tempo, superbly polished display, with Lipa’s wide range vocals flawless throughout, and a visual spectacle emphasised by a slick lighting set-up. It’s all a far cry from when we first saw her live back in 2015, performing at Bristol’s tiny Start The Bus venue (now HY Brasil Music Club) in front of a modest crowd of around 100. Although there was nothing lacking in her performance that night, she has certainly grown in stature and as a performer, with her strong material and powerful live show elevating her to the big league.
She wrapped things up with New Rules, arguably the best pop track of the year so far. It was also Dua Lipa’s first UK number one… and almost certainly it won’t be her last.
Photos: Becca Egerstrom
New from Youngr – aka Dario Darnell – is Monsters, a characteristically uptempo electronic pop tune that will get stuck in your head on the first listen.
For the uninitiated, Youngr is a name you will get to know over the course of this summer as his superb live act is just made for creating a huge impact at festivals over the coming months, including The Great Escape, Sundown, Boardmasters and Latitude. Check out our review of his recent London show and witness his live technical brilliance in all it’s looping glory on this slick re-working of Be The One by Dua Lipa.
Youngr – Monsters
London-born Dua Lipa has released her third track Last Dance, a follow-up to Be The One which helped raise her profile with some significant air play towards the end of 2015.
Currently working on her debut album due for release later this year, Lipa was nominated on the BBC Sound of 2016 long list. Expect to hear plenty more of what the 20-year-old singer-songwriter describes as ‘dark pop’ in the months ahead.
TRACK OF THE WEEK: Dua Lipa – Last Dance