SXSW Review: Ellie Goulding, Bat Bar, March 16

Austin – I have a soft spot for pop music, especially if it’s well made pop music. Hailing from England, Ellie Goulding makes what I consider to be well made pop music. A large star back home, Ellie Goulding has already achieved pop star status with a #1 album with her debut album Lights / Bright Lights, a smash hit Christmas single with a cover of Elton John’s Your Song and the top spot in “breakthrough act of 2010″ in BBC’s annual poll of music critics. With all that in mind, this spring Ellie Goulding will try the daunting task of breaking America, something that only Florence and the Machine has done in recent years. Like many artist trying to break through in this country, she will do that by playing a host of shows at SXSW. I was at her first one in the Bar Bar on Wednesday night.

It became pretty apparent early on that Ellie Goulding has kinda made a breakthrough in America already. The Bat Bar was packed with people by the time her set was about to begin, and it wasn’t just interested SXSW types, there was a swarm of girls who must have heard about this show and paid to get inside. Dressed in a cut off Wolf shirt with short (and I mean short) shorts, the petite Ellie Goulding took the stage shortly after midnight. Backed by a band that included a drummer, two multi-instrumentalist, the English singer played a hits filled set from her debut album. Not just content with dancing to her own music, Ellie showed off her acoustic guitar chops on some tracks, and it was pretty impressive. As the concert progressed, it became pretty apparent that I had been listening to the album more then I expected, as I knew each tune. However, I did not know each tune as much as the army of girls in the crowd, all singing happily along to tracks like Guns and Horses, Under the Sheets and Every Time You Go. They were also very aggressive in attempting to get better viewing positions at the show

Armed with a nice voice, strong acoustic guitar meets electro beat pop music and a charismatic stage presence (including a few unexpected f-bombs in her banter), Ellie Goulding went a long way in charming the SXSW crowd. Closing the set with a rousing edition of the mega hit single Starry Eyed (which seemingly included a lap-dance dance routine), the British singer songwriter left the crowd wanting more. A good start on the shores of America.

Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed by Interscope Records

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Posted on by Ricky in Everything, South By Southwest

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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