Thursday for Thought : The Diana Gig
This will be for me, a night to remember. I have to be honest with you. I was kind of embarrassed to show up at an 18 year old’s gig who has acquired a good amount of fans and haters within the past year. I went onto her myspace last week and listened to her album. I loved her single “Once” and the single she’s planning on releasing second “The Boy who Murdered Love”. The rest of her songs, however well produced and smartly penned as they were with their collaborations and Diana’s personal input, made me feel slighlty jippped. This album wan’t really supposed to be dance/pop, was it?
Let’s just say I was lucky enough to see her perform live at Nerina Pallot’s gig at Union Chapel a couple of weeks ago, because this girl has something very special indeed. So at this point I felt kind of torn. My adult self felt embarrassed for liking a teen’s music and my indie-loving self felt betrayed she did not follow a similar kind of route she had paved for herself during her stint on the X Factor.
Early on tonight, things seemed to be working against me. My exhaustion was mounting since last week and my concert buddy was running extremely late. I was almost tempted to crawl into bed at 8pm. Whatever it was that pushed me to go, I leave there now feeling completely different.
For one, I am completely impressed with the appreciation that she has for her fans, her collaborators, her opportunity to work within the industy and the love the fact that she was completely surprised to find out that the place was actually packed with people who come to see her.
There is an element of naiveté that works for and against her. She seems vibrant, glowing and totally into her music onstage, speaks to her fans as if they were her friends from back home, and makes you feel totally at ease with her banter. On the other hand, it’s almost like watching her be at someone else’s concert – not to say that she’s not entertaining, it’s simply endearing watching her take in and enjoy all the attention directed towards her. This, I find, is extremely rare with performers, as most singers are one sided, and don’t really give you the opportunity to see through them. Ever moment I watched her on stage, I felt I was watching her grow up, evolve and take it all in.
Second, I was impressed with her showmanship. Her quirky dance moves and her trumpet number were present just to show you that she has lots of personality, individuality and charisma.
Her vocals were improved, although I still believe people will either like her or simply hate her stylings. There’s not much you can do about that. The only thing that could have been done to improve upon the volume and quality of her breathy vocals would have been to monitor the sound of the drums better and give her the space she needs to be heard.
Other than that, I left the concert totally surprised, I even managed to forget my bag – which was safely returned to me by the security guard. That is a sign of real audience involvement. A super perk was seeing Nerina Pallot on the staircase on my way in, supporting her little protege, whom she wrote a song for (“Put it Back Together) in this freshman album. I can’t wait to see her evolve into a confident, more individual type of artist and see what fresh things she has to bring to the stage in the future.
ALL photos by © shmuttie & kranARI