I'm in love with music. I make it myself, I enjoy singing it, dancing to it, playing it, listening to it, reading it… It has been my passion for all my life and that won’t change anytime soon. And I like very different kinds of music, my criteria aren’t usually some genres that I may like better than the rest, since that changes a lot with my mood. It depends on the quality. I’m always in for quality music, whichever style. And definitely I love a good gig.
Last month I had the luck to be present at Jessy Ware’s concert at the Somerset House, as she announced probably her last gig with her first album. I must confess I didn’t know her, I didn’t know her songs, I only heard a couple of them before the concert -yes, I had been invited… and she won me. In the first place because her music is good. Electronic with good vibes, cool ideas and a nice voice. I can’t have enough of that! The space also helped. The Somerset House is already special for me, I’ve worked, partied, enjoyed, visited there… and it’s a beautiful place, so her performance could only get better perceived in that environment.
But what really got me, what made her completely special, was her honesty. She didn’t put a mask on. She dressed up in the same way as she’d have done to attend the concert from below the stage. She was natural, joking and talking as she would do among friends. And the audience loved her for that. For being close; for being herself. And that applied also to her music, to her performance. She sung beautifully, although the acoustics didn’t quite help her much, and she had the mic on through the concert (no lip-syncing). Of course, her music is electronic, so it’s full of things she can’t do live.
What do you do in that case if you want to perform live, with a band of three great versatile musicians? In many festivals, many bands will pretend they are playing live but you hear pre-recorded tracks. She didn’t go that way. She couldn’t have all the elements from her album live on stage, but she chose to have as many as possible played live. To make it possible, the great drummer did a fantastic job following the tempo of each song, in a way that allowed pre-recorded sounds to be shot from the stage. There were also tracks that were played from the mixing table, but only those that Jessie and her band couldn’t shoot themselves… maybe at some point Jessie played with the illusion of shooting some tracks that weren’t controlled on stage, but if she did it was so organic with the real ones that it didn’t matter nor was obvious.
We can see clearly how she is shooting the sounds herself, since her timings are human
(as opposed to mechanic, robotic, perfect)
Maybe other people won’t find this so important or amazing. For me it is, for it shows the willingness of this artist to be a true one and make music live. Only three days after Jessie’s gig I was to the Lovebox festival and I enjoyed like crazy Kelis’ concert. She did great, but most of it was pre-recorded. Most of the time she was dancing to the music more than singing it… It was still a great gig, we had a great time, but I’m pretty sure that no one got as struck with Kelis as I did with Jessie Ware’s honesty.
And with this said… I wish us all loads of quality music, fun music, honest music, live music, lip-synced music, music of all kinds as long as it keeps us moving!