Despite hearing from others of how amazing the singer-songwriter Laura Mvula is to see live, I still didn’t know what to expect when going to her Sheffield stop in her UK tour. It’s fair to say that I will now be one of those people who tell others of how amazing Laura Mvula is to see live.
I’d listened to her new album ‘The Dreaming Room’ on repeat in anticipation, which in some cases can be a drawback as the gig can feel like you’re just listening to the album again. For Friday night, this was further from the truth, Laura managed to make each song unique to the gig by playing her own keyboard and even doing one track, ‘Diamonds’¸ acapella which was my personal favourite moment of the set. There’s something special about a whole crowd being completely silent just listening to the sound of one voice. Above all Laura’s stage presence was what made it such a personal gig, from her anecdotes between tracks to her dancing with the band (which was partly made up of her siblings!), it really felt like she was genuinely happy to be doing what she was doing.
The set list was full of her latest album mixed in with her old classics like ‘She’, ‘Father Father’ and not forgetting ‘Green Garden’, with even a Nina Simone cover thrown in. Her encore was yet another Nina Simone cover ‘Be My Husband’, which was although a stunning cover probably wouldn’t have given the crowd as bigger high as one of her own songs.
The Leadmill is one of Sheffield’s famous gig venues and you can see why. Having a relatively small capacity and a wide crowd standing area meant wherever you stood you were still fairly close to the main stage, without everyone being squashed in. Not only is Leadmill a gig venue but it is also a popular Sheffield club meaning, as it was a Friday night, when the band went off the music came on and the clubbers came in. What a great way to end a gig!
Sheffield was her second to last show in her UK tour, but Laura Mvula is going overseas in the new year so check her out if you get the chance!