Jessie J - London Roundhouse
Jessie J has made herself at home at Camden’s Roundhouse, taking to stage for the second year running at the iTunes festival. Sandwiched between acts like Queens of the Stone Age through to Justin Timberlake, the festival continues to caters for most tastes - obvious from the mish-mash of artists plastered on the walk down Camden High Street to the iconic London venue.
The queue lining the street means that Lawson don’t play to a full audience, but with their stage presence you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a stadium show. It’s an enjoyable set, but the crowd seem on edge. Today sees the release for JJ’s second album Alive, and for the majority of her fans (the show is also being streamed live online) this will be the first time hearing so many new songs.
Bounding onstage to ‘Price Tag’, Jessie cuts a powerful silhouette against her black-clad band. The intro is almost unrecognisable to the radio edit, but a near perfect chorus rendition from the audience seems to ward off any nerves that this would be all about the new material. After all, Lady GaGa opened the 30 day run at the Roundhouse with a limp eight song set taken solely from her as-yet-unreleased new album, but tonight's perfomer is in it for the crowd. Teasing us with new songs (even closing on the Motown-tinged ‘Alive’) and delivering a goosebump inspiring Aerosmith cover in ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’ - that merges with fan favourite ‘Who You Are’ - has many agog.
Jessie’s voice is as on form as ever tonight, from the falsetto warbles thrown in to spice up ‘Laserlight’ to the thundering vocals on ‘Do It Like A Dude’. The highlight of the night comes with recent hit ‘Wild’; guest Dizzee Rascal bouncing round the stage for his verse leaves the crowd a sweaty mess. An appearance from Brandy might leave some in the audience nudging their mates with a quizzical look on their face, but ‘Conquer The World’ performed as a duet is stirring and striking regardless.
Half of the material tonight may have been fresh, and closing on a new song is a risky choice, but tonight Jessie J pulled off the balance perfectly. A smart set list and a cheeky stage presence surely means that the impending album tour will be a must see.