Lucy Rose, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London
Judging by the queue outside and the 100 fans packed within, the unsigned Lucy Rose is proof that internet phenomena are still occurring.
Early Myspace demos have attracted serious global attention, including from indie star of the moment Jack Steadman from Bombay Bicycle Club, who has already remixed one of Rose's songs and is in the audience tonight.
The elfin 20-year-old Rose has swum around the dive-bar circuit as a solo singer-songwriter for a year, but now she's taking to the stage as part of a five- piece band complete with a dreadlocked rhythm section (the Bhebhe brothers, Simba and Beanie) and moustachioed dudes Henry Broadbent on keyboards and Adam Coney on electric guitar. Visually, they're a misfit urban youth gang fronted by Joan of Arc gone indie ingenue. Musically, the armour of current pop contrivance is noticeably missing.
Rose has a beautiful, subtly textured voice, as distinctive in its way as Florence Welch's but without grandstanding tendencies, and her songs have a hooks-and-heartstrings classicism that makes her hard to label. The sweetly circling opener, "All I've Got", surprised with it's vaulting indie chorus. "About You" veers towards 70s West-Coast rock, and "Be Alright" backs together chords that Lennon and McCartney would've been proud of. With the power of the band behind it, "Be Alright" transcended its East End surroundings – you could imagine it on a festival stage somewhere, delighting thousands.
But the centrepiece is Rose's voice, a beam of husky starlight which could work as well with an orchestra as with a banjo. Opting to downplay her chatty side, she was content to make the odd quip about her band's moustaches, have a swig of her Guinness and just play the songs. "Amsterdam" is effortlessly cool and manages to rescue pop reggae from it's disreputable corner and the epic finale – the guitar-walled tsunami of compassion "Don't You Worry" – is simply astonishing and sung directly from the heart.
Not many 20-year-olds can pull off a night of cross-genre, contrivance-free, elemental musicality, but tonight, with a hint of Marianne Faithfull here, a flavour of Beth Orton there, and nonchalant confidence everywhere, Lucy Rose did just that. If the Lady Ga Gas of the moment don't do it for you, then fear not: Lady La La has arrived.
Arts & Ents blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
Liam Gallagher slams Daft Punk: 'I could have written Get Lucky in an hour'
Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
After 61 films, including The Hangover Part III, Heather Graham admits she still likes to boogie
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 3 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 4 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.