Originally from London, with Ghanaian and Kiwi roots, singer, composer and musician, she's currently touring Europe to promote her latest record Ode To The Unknown Factory Worker, released by the italian label Rai Trade.
Last time, in 2009, she was performing solo, and - if memory serves me correctly, - she opened her show with Helfire, singing this impressive vocal track (same thing in the studio version, there are no instruments involved) - walking from the very middle of the audience til the stage. I remember she's been enthralling, fully charming, - something clear since the very beginning of her show: her voice, able to go deep and to be sweet at the same time. For sure one of my favorite new artists in recent years.
Of course, I was not disappointed this time either. Except done for all those people who were smoking like chimneys. Also Leila asked for a glass of water because she was not used to all the smoke, having spent some time in US.
In Italy it is actually the same, but you know, smokers sometimes feel too cool to respect other people. Anyway..
I was saying, - last time in solo, differently, last night Leila was supported by the same (italian) drummer she recorded her new record with, Daniele De Santis, - picking up songs mainly from her new album and her previous one, Dark Joan: Ode to the unknown factory worker, A moment of peace, Dark Joan ("san giovanna"), The one minute pastry song (totally delicious - like Laetitia Sadier singing for Ralfe Band), Slick department store (oblique indiepop!), Cigarettes & circus puffs (so sorry that no one has understood the song was ended and so nobody has clapped.. but she has glued it to the beginning of Fortuna..), Martian raft, Brazen hussy, - and just Train, as encore, from Cherry Pie.
Her talent places her in a very personal dimension, sometimes on the boundaries of jazz, with an eye on alt-pop music, always with a intimate approach, able to be mellow and dreamy (Fortuna), but even decise (Dark Joan, Train), - a very special combination of (fascinating) voice and (sometimes percussive) piano. Last but not least, she's even sexy, - what do you want more?
Fanfulla's audience was very friendly to her, and demanded an encore; The acoustic was a little cheap, but I really enjoyed her show. - Later I bought my copy of Ode To The Unknown Factory Worker, and finally Dark Joan (recorded by Steve Albini!). Warmly recommended.
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