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LIVE REVIEW: Andreya Triana Album Launch, London

31/08/2010

Having listened to Andreya’s debut album, Lost Where I Belong, pretty much non-stop for the last 2 or 3 weeks I was beyond excited to hear the material live and so, last Thursday I ducked out of work early and headed down to London for her official album launch at Cafe Oto in Dalston. Awful weather and manic traffic nearly scuppered my carefully laid plans, however I managed to finally reach the venue just before Andreya’s advertised performance time. As with just about every gig I’ve been too things kicked off a little late, but the crowd were enjoying Bonobo on the decks and everyone seemed to be relaxed and ready to hear what Andreya had to offer.

The first thing that struck me, and I’m sure many others as Andreya took to the slightly cramped stage, was just how stunning the lady is. Yes I was aware she is beautiful from various photographs I’ve seen, but somehow the word ‘beautiful’ does not do her justice. After a quick round of thank yous it was clear that she was genuinely excited to be performing at the launch of her album, she could hardly wipe the smile off of her face as she launched into the first track ‘Draw The Stars’. An appropriate choice to kick off the show, the track talks of following and realising your dreams.

Her band were excellent throughout the show, and there wasn’t a backup singer in sight, this was all orchestrated perfectly so that Ms Triana was THE focus of everybody’s attention. She sang 8 of the 9 tracks on the album, only missing the ethereal ‘Daydreamers’, and every song sounded perfect. I was particularly pleased to see her little vocal looper (no idea of the ‘technical’ name), which she used to provide backing and all manner of ‘effects’ to the songs.

‘X’ was a particularly impressive performance, drenched in emotion, her smokey, powerful vocals on full display, however the standout performance of the night was the closing track, ‘Town Called Obsolete’. Rather than doing a straight up, album-identical rendition, Andreya and the band upped the tempo, transforming it into an all the more jazzier/funkier performance, complete with haunting echo and reverb courtesy of her trusty vocal looper.

Andreya had me convinced from the moment I first heard the first single from the album, however others have taken a while to come round to her unique brand of folk-soul. This showcase illustrated what most in attendance already knew, that Andreya is one hell of a talented young lady, and i’m sure she will be an asset to Ninja Tune, and the independant UK soul scene for years to come.

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