Laura Steel - Cafe De Paris London
Whoever put together Laura Steel's London showcase deserves an award! The event was hosted at the capital's prestigious and pricey Cafe De Paris, situated between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, with competition winners and media types queuing around the block, patiently waiting to attend a performance by a relatively unknown artiste, without even the promise of a free bar! There was even a handful of paparazzi photographers huddled on the pavement, hoping to shoot a a celebrity or two on the off chance they graced the showcase with their presence.
On entering the venue I was suprised to find that there was even a merch table flogging souvenir programs at five pounds a pop! I don't know if many were sold but they certainly helped to create the illusion that we were attending something special. There was certainly an air of expectancy in the fairly heaving venue but this was in danger of vaporizing as the wait for Laura's entrance became longer and longer and longer. Eventually a voice boomed out of the speakers heralding Miss Steel's arrival.
Laura certainly made a dramatic entrance as she was joined onstage by several dancers who accompanied her throughout the majority of her set. The songs on offer were very upbeat and chart friendly, most likely taken from Laura's forthcoming album "Time For Change". Each track has a strong dance base with "Impossible" and "Square eyes" making a decent impression. (I may be wrong with the song titles mind you!).
Laura's onstage personality was great, coming across as a cheeky Northern lass and she's certainly a lot more fun than her fellow Sheffield electro popper Little Boots. But I feel set opener "Not for me" possibly pulls her in the wrong direction as it's a bit too 'novelty act' with Laura resembling a one woman Dolly Rockers at times.
The set went down extremely well with the audience anyway, with Miss Steel receiving an encore, treating us all to a rendition of Madonna's "Material girl" and another run through of "Not for me".
There's certainly room for Laura in the charts anyway and with a promising album on the horizon and a great team behind her I'm sure it wont be long till we see her there.