hmv.com reviews... Kelis @ London's Somerset House
Kelis brought her new album Food to Somerset House last night (July 14th), but how did she go down? We review the show...
Pop chameleon and certified chef Kelis Rogers who has been touring her new rootsy soul album Food (which you can preview on the right-hand side of the page) this year with a full live band.
The magisterial Somerset House on The Strand in London.
Any good supports?
London singer Jess Glynne has made a name for herself this year by appearing on two big dance singles, including Clean Bandit's 'Rather Be'. She played a confident and lively set and the audience actually took some note which is always a triumph for a new act opening for a big artist.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
It was a sold out show and there was a party vibe in the balmy summer evening as people speculated whether their favourite Kelis song would be on the set list.
So what was the set like? What did she play?
Not a hit was missed, the crowd were duly satisfied. Kelis came out in the flounciest of flouncy frocks with voluminous hair to match and instantly captivated crowd with an unaccompanied version of Nina Simone’s 'Feelin’ Good' – a perfect choice for her voice and the brilliant band with horn section in fine fettle. After one chorus, Kelis and her backing singers broke off into the ‘ooh – aah’ intro to 'Breakfast' - the opening song from Food and followed that up with 'Millionaire' – her collaboration with Andre 3000 from 2003’s Tasty.
The band she has been touring with for Food is very much set up to play that album in all its live and funky glory, but that didn’t stop them from visiting the highlights of Kelis’ earlier career from the sparse Neptunes production of 'Tasty' through to the dance-orientated Flesh Tone from 2010 with brilliant and varying reworkings of those songs. 'Trick Me' worked perfectly as an all-out ska romp, subtly shorn of the 2-step skip to its beat and with a raucous horn section reference to Dawn Penn’s ‘No, No, No’.
The ever popular 'Milkshake' (Kelis – “That one’s still fun, huh!’) was given a jazzy Latin inflection and later on her hit with Calvin Harris – 'Bounce' – was verging on show tune with the crowd joining in with the lead melody. Kelis even treated us to her first ever single Got Your Money and in the (permanent) absence of Ol’ Dirty Bastard it was turned into a crowd sing-along instead.
And just as we thought that she was going to shy away from attempting her hits from Flesh Tone due to its banging electronic sound, she made a point of saying a piece about a good song transcending all preconceptions and how she is constantly baffled about how much fuss is made with her shifts in style from one album to the next… and then played 4th of July and Acapella, both glorious sing-alongs. She finished with another chorus of Feelin’ Good and there really was nothing more than anyone could ask for (she doesn’t seem to play 'Caught Out There' anymore).
Any good between song banter?
Kelis connected well with the crowd and seemed to be enjoying herself. At one point she paused to admire her stately surroundings and commented ‘I think this place suits me!’.
Did they put on much of a show?
It was pretty straightforward – Kelis looked fabulous and so did Somerset House.
What was the highlight of the set?
Very hard to pick as it was enjoyable from start to finish but we think we could have listened to that version of 'Trick Me' all night long...
Where can I catch her next?
Kelis is playing Latitude festival and The Big Feastival on Alex James’ farm in the Cotswolds!
Kelis's new album Food is out now stores in hmv stores.