Gig Review by Emily-Camilla Stockham with Photography by Jeremy Carron

Jessie J

Sunday night, I dragged myself across London in the summer rain to the Girl Effect Live show – luckily, the show more than made up for the long journey and the tropical-like-rain drenched hair.

The Girl Effect is a movement. It’s about leveraging the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries and the world. It’s about making girls visible and changing their social and economic dynamics by providing them with specific, powerful and relevant resources.

Jessie J

An undoubtedly amazing cause – girls [and boys] were invited to celebrate and join the cause with a one-off show headlined by Essex-born pop starlet, Jessie J at the Village Underground, Shoreditch. The night was definitely awash with female empowerment and the atmosphere was electric – and of course, a little sweaty.

You can’t miss Village Underground thanks to the four brightly coloured, graffiti-covered tube carriages, perched on its roof and the colourfulness had been amped up ten-fold with the words, ‘THE POWER OF GIRL’ sprawled across the outside wall.

Jessie J

Fans came out in their droves to see Jessie J at the arty and dingy venue which is a far cry from the arena shows she has become accustomed to since she shot to fame in back in early 2010.  Speaking to some of Jessie’s fans outside the venue, the affectionately nicknamed ‘heartbeats’ told me they felt lucky to see their idol in this tiny venue telling me that it felt in some way ‘historic’.

And, it turns out they were right.

Jessie J

Ahead of Jessie’s set, support came from Sasha Keable. Sasha, who has previously toured with Katy B and collaborated with Disclosure on their single, Voices, set the tone for a night filled with immense female talent.

Her vocal ability was astounding, and for the first time in a long time I had that goosebump-shivers-OMG type moment when you realise an artist is about to hit the big-time. Another Brit school grad that has the potential of Adele, Jessie et al, Keable lit up the room.

Jessie J

Like a blonde Amy Winehouse in vocal range and eyeliner thickness, with hints of headliner Jessie to boot, she charmed the crowd with tracks from her EP’s, Black Book and Lemongrass and Limeleaves. Think chilled hip-hop and soulful vocals. And, she’s only 20. Mind-blowing.

After Sasha’s set the crowd bubbled over and spilled out to the bar and smoking section to escape the heat of the rammed brick-walled venue whilst they awaited Jessie J and her band.

Jessie J

Opening with tracks Sexy Lady and smash-hit Domino, Jessie had the crowd in the palm of her hand from the outset singing along to every lyric. The intimate venue seemed to send fans into frenzy and Jessie was clearly feeding from the energy that remained relentless throughout the set.

Whilst Jessie is a bonafide popstar with a few tours and albums under her belt she looked genuinely excited – and told the crowd, ‘I love coming back to London, especially at a place like this, like the old days! I want to make eye contact with you all!’ It was refreshing to see a platinum selling artist with a polished set still looking free, genunine and happy on stage.

Jessie J

Ad-hoc silly dance moves, stopping to sign hats and shoes from fans and obligatory Jessie-J bass-faces were standard throughout which meant she didn’t appear overly-rehearsed like many of her chart-topping counterparts – her attitude paired with her amazing vocal range made her captivating to watch.

Jessie blazed through the 90 minute set with single, Calling all hearts which lead into a cover of Bruno Mars’ Treasure before jumping into Sweet Talker , Nobody’s Perfect and Wild . The set was fast paced and filled with energy from both the crowd, Jessie and her band. At one point she stops and tells the crowd, ‘I know I always talk too much but its Sunday and you gotta get the train home so more songs less talk!’

Jessie J

After a enraptured rendition of Laserlight, Jessie slowed things down for an acoustic section.

A medley of Conquer the World which led into a cover of Oasis’ hit, Wonderwall was met with cheers from the swaying crowd. Then, a shorter version of Big White Room from her debut album achieved the loudest crowd sing-along of the night. Closely followed by, Who you are , which was dedicated to the Girl Effect charity.

Jessie J

Jessie ended her set with hip-hop inspired swagger-heavy ,Ain’t been done, followed by an raucous encore of her signature tunes, Do it like a Dude and Price Tag.

Whilst Jessie has earned a reputation as a marmite act, her talent and passion is undeniable. Her voice live is better than on record and her positivity is absolutely compelling.

The evening felt truly inspiring and uplifting reinforcing the fact that the Do it like a Dude singer was the perfect representation for the power of girl.

Jessie J

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