Review: Ellie Goulding, Rock City, by Katie Bonner
It's been over two years since Ellie Goulding last played in Nottingham in support of her debut album Lights. On Tuesday night she was back, brandishing new songs from second album Halcyon, as well as revisiting the tracks that made us take notice of her in the first place.
The set started slowly and quietly.
Goulding's delicate and ethereal vocals could barely be heard over the shrieks and whoops of the crowd throughout a packed Rock City.
In fact, for the first part of the show it seemed the band had their volume turned down too; the bass lacked the punch it ought to and the songs were low energy.
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Songs from the second album featured heavily for the first half an hour with Figure 8, Don't Say a Word and Hanging On all sung beautifully, but lacking the raw energy and drive of her earlier work.
The fans were pleased to have her back on stage performing, but the crowd's attention started to wander during a solo acoustic version of Guns and Horses.
Once the band returned to join her the pace and volume picked up. Under The Sheets was the highlight of the night with its crashing percussion, dirty synth bass and a cheeky groove that got the audience dancing. This was quickly followed by Anything Could Happen, a gloriously euphoric song that had everyone singing along.
Throughout the night Goulding was a restless presence, continuously dancing and pacing around the stage. She used her voice as an additional instrument, singing in harmony with herself using her little box of vocal tricks. And she chatted with the crowd between songs but seemed happier when she was singing her heart out.
Elton John's cover of Your Song was brought out for Christmas and the set finally closed on the debut single, Starry Eyed.
It had taken some time for her to warm up but it was, on reflection, worth the wait.
Watch more from Ellie Goulding here