REVIEW: Ella Eyre – Mandela Hall, Belfast

EllaEyrebyPaulWoods-0546 Shooting to fame in 2013 after featuring on Rudimental’s Waiting All Night, 20 year old pop/R&B sensation Ella Eyre has since been an unstoppable force in the UK music scene.

Best known for her sultry vocals, feisty attitude and that lion’s mane of hair (which I’m extremely envious of), she played her first major Irish gig this weekend at Belfast’s Mandela Hall.

The show was originally planned for October, but had to be rescheduled due to Ella winning her first MOBO award, as you do.

EllaEyrebyPaulWoods-0557Warming up for Ella was up and coming acoustic sensation Jake Isaac. I was beyond impressed with what this guy could do with just his voice and an acoustic guitar.

Isaacs’s vocals were melodic, captivating and calming, and the crowd absolutely loved him, especially when he came offstage and asked us to gather in a circle around him as he sang, making his performance all the more intimate.

On top of this, he seems like a genuinely lovely, funny guy and had such a great rapport with the crowd. Highlights for me were Stronger which he sang flawlessly and Chaos, which he told us was written about his mother.

EllaEyrebyPaulWoods-0645There was absolute euphoria amongst the crowd as Ella bounced on stage like a ball of energy, and that energy didn’t let up for her entire performance. It was like she was feeding off the crowd’s reaction and absolutely loving every second of it. Her band were amazing too giving us a few unexpected guitar solos, and her two backing dancers were captivating to watch.

The mood mellowed down slightly and the lights in Mandela dimmed for moving ballad Even If, giving us a chance to really hear her vocals, which were absolutely flawless. The tone stayed poignant with the gorgeous Home, and the crowd erupted when it faded into her number one hit Waiting All Night.

The whole of Mandela sang along to final single Gravity and Ella seemed truly moved by their interaction with her which was lovely to see. With the lights dimming, and neon strobes flashing onstage, she jumped back on for an encore, bursting straight into If I Go, sending the crowd into yet another frenzy. EllaEyrebyPaulWoods-0664After her final song of the night Together, Ella seemed genuinely touched by the reaction she received and vowed to come back to Belfast soon.

For a twenty year old without even a debut album under her belt yet, Ella Eyre truly held her own for the Belfast crowd, giving us her all for the whole performance. I was seriously impressed with her vocals and unwavering energy throughout the gig and will definitely be back to see her when she returns. Meghan Gilleece, GiggingNI.com