A couple of weeks ago, Decca held a showcase at the O’Meara London for some of the new artists that they have recently signed who would be releasing music in 2017. The evening was a great night out with some of the best music that I have heard in a long time and featured;
Rhys Lewis, Xamvolo, Betti, The Wandering Hearts and Una Healy.
Betti is quite possibly one of the most exciting artists to emerge from any genre in a long time. This lady has it all, beauty, style, elegance – She is chic, sultry, charismatic and has an old soulful, Jazzy-Blues voice with a hint of Rhythm and Blues which is flawless and so hard to come by. Betti is like a modern day Billie Holiday, an artist that had been lacking within the music industry, till now. She combines vintage and modern perfectly. I have no doubt Betti will be shaking things up within the music industry and in a damn good way.
You just need to hear Betti sing one line and I am convinced you will be sold like I was.
As it was a showcase, we only got to hear four songs but each song that she performed were real show stoppers and had so much energy, soul and sass that I am very excited to hear what more she has to offer. I hope to maybe see her one day in a dark styled Jazz club environment where her vocals will fill the room in such a way that they hit the walls.
Betti performed her debut single Ordinary which is out now. This song is an enchanting masterpiece which is perfectly Soulful with a strong Jazzy/Blues sound. The Jazz piano on this track is simply stunning as is all of the instrumentation. Betti has a voice with such soulful purity in this song that is both emotional and honest and far from Ordinary.
Betti then sang a stunning, Jazzy/Blues, dark pop version of Toxic by Britney Spears. This version sounded like how, in my opinion, it should have been originally and I am sure writer Cathy Dennis would be damn proud of it. Betti’s vision of this song was intelligent, elegant and truly unforgettable.
Ordinary – Single by Betti
The Wandering Hearts
The Wandering Hearts were on next. An Americana, Alt- Country-Folk group from the UK, they were the biggest surprise of the evening for me. A group of four consisting of two females and two males, The Wandering Hearts are a vocal group as well as multi instrumentalists. I actually thought that one of the girls was Kacey Musgraves when she walked on stage, very similar visually. The group sang a harmonious blend of Country and Folk music and all four voices were flawlessly pure, honeyed and smooth. Their music was beautifully tuneful and delightful with fantastic melodies. It was their voices that I remembered most though. They were wonderful live and very exciting. With artists such as The Lumineers on their label, it is no wonder Decca signed The Wandering Hearts and I am so pleased that they did.
I cannot wait for them to release music as I really want to hear and own studio versions of the songs that they performed.
The Wandering Hearts will be playing various festivals this year including C2C and the last ever Cornbury Festival.
Una Healy, best known as one fifth of The Saturdays at this point, was releasing her first solo album The Waiting Game which as of now is out, so go get it! Una had released her first single off the album which featured Sam Palladio titled Stay My Love. Una and Sam had been promoting the single all week via various tv and radio shows. They had just performed on BBC The One Show just an hour before and whizzed on over for the showcase.
Una and Sam were almost undetected when arriving on stage. It is a showcase though, most people knew each other so there were people in deep conversations and people like me, enjoying the free bar and food ha! They started with Stay My Love. The live version was just as beautiful as the studio version. Sam never fails to impress, out of all the cast of Nashville that I have seen live, he is by far the most talented and his original material is something not to be missed. Una and Sam performed this song as if they had been performing it for years. The crowd fell silent and the performance was very well received.
I assumed that Sam would leave the stage to Una after Stay My Love but I was pleasantly surprised to see him stay on the stage for another song. Things became a bit more up beat as Sam says to the crowd ‘ You should all know this next song so please sing along’. With the words to the song rested on a music stand as they had only ever performed this song together once before, they went on to sing a duet cover version of Have You Ever Seen The Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival a song that is a favourite of mine since The Spin Doctors covered it for the film Philadelphia. This song, particularly suited Una – her tone suddenly became more gravelly and raw and she seemed so much more relaxed and at home during this track. They sung the hell out if this song and it was absolutely brilliant.
Together, they are a musical marriage in heaven, who would have thought it? Their voices compliment each other so magnificently that they make a sublime partnership and I hope this is the first of many songs and performances together. Una is an artist to watch, not just for country music fans but music fans. Her voice is stunning and sweet with a real natural tone. Her stage presence between songs as she addresses the audience is adorably awkward which is really appealing as you would assume, well I did, that someone who was part of a successful pop group may be slightly arrogant, however, this is not the case at all with Una. Una seems slightly nervous to share her new music but she needn’t worry as I have every confidence that she will be a very successful solo artist.
The Waiting Game by Una Healy is out now
The Waiting Game by Una Healy
Una has just performed her first headline show at St Pancreas Church and has a show in Dublin tonight. Sadly, I could not make it but am hoping to catch her in May, which you can too.
I had a quick chat with Sam Palladio just before I left and he was as charming and lovely as usual. He is such a down to earth guy who is very humble and treats everyone as his equal. Sadly I had to cut the chat and evening short as had a train to catch which meant I also missed the last few acts of the evening, however, I have listed them below and hope you will check them out, I certainly will.