Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Union Chapel

Why this gig?

This was another of those gigs where I thought I’d take a bit of a punt. I liked “Groovejet”, of course, and I bought Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s first album. I haven’t heard anything she’s done for about ten years, but the Union Chapel is a great venue, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Support

Us Baby Bear Bones were a lot of fun. Poppy, but in a complex and interesting way. I’ll be looking out for them again in the future.

Headline

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has a new(ish) album out. And, as she keeps telling us, it’s a bit of a departure for her. The dance music is out and has been replaced with a more adult-sounding style. That’s only to be expected, of course, people change as they get older, but I listened to the new album before the show and I really didn’t like the new direction.

Unfortunately, Sophie loves her new direction. The vast majority of the set is drawn from the new album. Most of the audience seem to enjoy it. I’m left a bit cold.

It was only when she returned for the encore and played a medley of her older, dancier songs that things really got going. And, of course, by that time it was too late to salvage the show.

There was one more surprise to come though. As the band left the stage after the encore, Sophie and her guitarist ran up to the balcony where they appeared and sang one more song unamplified with just an acoustic guitar. It was really impressive.

If the whole of the show had been more like the last twenty or so minutes, I think I would have had a completely different impression. As it was, I was deeply unimpressed.

The set list is on setlist.fm.

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