In what could possibly be the most intimate venue in Liverpool, on what could possibly be the most humid night Liverpool has felt since last summer, Studio 2 in Parr St is abuzz with anticipation. It is a modest venue, dotted with couches, pouffes and not two metre gap seperating the crowd from the mic stand.
After the incredibly soulful Ragz and her three piece backing band finish their set of pensive melodies, she bookends her performance with a native Norweigan hymn — entirely a capella — and hauntingly beautiful.
It is now that the room starts to fill, and the heat intensifies. An abundance of photographers stumble around the microphone stand, clumsily trying to find the best spot.
London based singer/songwriter Eliza Doolittle, followed by her backing band eventually pop out of a smaller room, and wander towards the stage, and she’s greeted with a huge and warm reception (as if it wasn’t hot enough already.)
She’s just the kind of quirk that needs to follow the evocavite performance from Ragz — she’s backed by a standing double bassist, drummer, and acoustic guitarist that provide a discreet yet melodic lining in which Eliza’s voice rests a top of — coy and cute, yet loud enough to eventually beckon some of the sitted crowd to get up to their feet in a collective swing.
Doolittle actually does very little to capture her audience. Her set list is a playful half hour of attractive melodies, complete with her hit single Skinny Genes, which boasts her talents to whip up a catchy hook, and the ukulele backing is sweet, without ever reaching the point of twee.
The backing band provide the kind of sweethearted harmonies that are often missing from most female fronted indie/pop acts these days. Eliza is the star of the show, but the soft vocal assistance from her double bassist is all the more welcoming.
Sure, she’ll get compared to fellow Londoner Lily Allen, which is the shame about most British pop singers. And sure, she’ll hear My Fair Lady and Pygmalion references to the point of absurdity, but tonight Eliza has effectively truimphed in capturing the hearts to add to her growing fanbase.
‘Let’s get steamy together!’ she proposes. If it wasn’t for the 8 foot of dance room in the venue, it’d have been a lot harder to say no.
*photos to come*