Gig Review and Photography by Jeremy Carron

Izzy Bizu

Izzy Bizu is a singer/songwriter from South West London. Taking inspiration from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Amy Winehouse and Adele, gives Izzy a unique sound with a vibrant mix of soul, jazz and pop shining through. It’s been a busy year for the BBC Music Sound of 2016 nominee. From having recorded a reworked version of Edith Piaf’s “La Foule”, used as the theme song for BBC’s Euro 2016 coverage, to releasing her debut album, “A Moment of Madness” earlier this month, Izzy has been going from strength to strength! Now, fresh off the summer festival circuit, Izzy Bizu is at Camden’s KOKO for a sold out performance, to show the people of London what she’s all about!

Lily Oakes

The night began with support from Lily Oakes, followed by Jay Prince. Lily Oakes and her band brought a mixture of a trip-hop and classical sound to KOKO. Stopping rarely to interact with the audience left a sense of mystery and depth to her on stage presence, as she took the crowd on a journey through her mesmerising set! Jay Prince followed shortly afterwards, with strong hip-hop vibes and an upbeat set. Working the crowd and even occasionally switching between rapping and performing on a synth, Jay had the people clapping and chanting along by the end of his set. Both support acts went down really well with the crowd and they were definitely hyped up and ready for the night to come, by the end of it all!

Jay Prince

The walls of KOKO were decorated with photos of Izzy, which the fans admired while they waited for the main event and sure enough, soon the time came for what they had all been waiting for! Izzy took to the stage along with her immense band, made up off musicians on keys, horns, guitar, bass, double bass and drums, together with backing singers! The fans cheered, as Izzy Bizu kicked things off with first song of the night, “Lost Paradise”. A soulful start to the set, it wasn’t long until the crowd were moving to the beat.

Izzy Bizu

“Naïve Soul” followed next and was a great song to showcase Izzy’s vocal range. Up next was “Give Me Love”, with a catchy beat and featuring R&B qualities, it was a definite highlight of the night. The bridge of the song even morphed into the main riff off Isaac Hayes’s “Ike’s Rap II”, before closing to cheers from the crowd. From the first three songs alone, it is clear to see that Izzy’s emotions are brilliantly portrayed in her song writing.

Izzy Bizu

A short break followed, giving Izzy the chance to say hi to her fans. She went on to say that she even saw some of them while walking to the venue.  “Sweet Like Honey” was up next, the first track performed to not feature on her debut album. This was followed by “Skinny”, another upbeat track, before the pace was slowed down for “Diamond”.

Izzy Bizu

“Open To You” was the second non-album track performed, before Izzy Bizu announced that her next song was really personal to her and was about her own insecurities when trying to impress someone. A soulful performance of “What Makes You Happy” followed. What becomes clear as the night goes on is, although Izzy Bizu can give the impression that she may be a bit shy while interacting with the crowd in-between songs, she is also able to instantly transform before everyone’s eyes into a confident, soulful artist, as soon as the beat kicks in!

Izzy Bizu

The pace picked up again, when “Adam & Eve” was performed. Originally the first single off her album, it made for a great live performance, with the horns and drums sounding effortlessly in harmony. The song was well received by the fans and was definitely a standout moment. After the song, Izzy herself couldn’t contain her delight with the fans and exclaimed: “This is so much fun!!”

Izzy Bizu

“Fly With Your Eyes Closed” was next in the set and had the crowd swaying along to the song. After the performance, Izzy announced that she wanted to welcome HONNE to the stage, much to the audience’s surprise! The electronic soul duo worked on the song “Someone That Loves You”, together with Izzy and so they performed a stripped back version of the song. The performance went down well with the crowd and even had everyone clapping along towards the end. HONNE thanked the crowd, before leaving the stage.

Izzy Bizu

“Circles” was up next, with another stripped back performance, consisting of just keys and the double bass, complementing Izzy’s soulful voice. The rest of the band joined Izzy on stage for a jazzy cover of OutKast’s “Ms. Jackson”. Izzy Bizu’s rendition of the song worked really well and was a great cover; it even contained elements of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” thanks to the horn section.

“Glorious” kept the pace going, followed by “I Know”, complete with a funky bass riff for good measure. During the middle of the song, Izzy said the crowd had been great so far, but she needed their help for a little sing along, which the fans were more than happy to take part in! Afterwards, Izzy Bizu thanked her band members, whilst also introducing them to the audience, before leading on into “Mad Behaviour”, as the night was coming to the end. Izzy thanked the fans for coming to her show, before announcing her next song, “White Tiger”, much to the fans’ delight! The song is definitely one of Izzy Bizu’s more energetic tracks and made for a great live performance, with fans singing along throughout!

Izzy Bizu

The whole of KOKO was filled with cheers and applause as Izzy Bizu left the stage, though after a short interval, Izzy returned back on stage for one last encore song, “Floating Lamps”, the final non-album track of the night. The stripped back song was another opportunity for Izzy to demonstrate her vocal capability and was a great way to end what had been an incredible show!  With performances full of soul, passion and character, Izzy Bizu definitely gave the people of KOKO a night to remember!

Setlist:

Lost Paradise / Naïve Soul / Give Me Love / Sweet Like Honey / Skinny / Diamond / Open To You / What Makes You Happy / Adam & Eve / Fly With Your Eyes Closed / Someone That Loves You / Circles / Miss Jackson Jam / Glorious / I Know / Mad Behaviour / White Tiger

Encore:

Floating Lamps

Izzy Bizu

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