British soul and R&B singer Elli Ingram graced the stage of Soho's very own The Lower Third. Elli is as gifted as sedulous and her fans had the pleasure of joining her for two nights to celebrate, observe and be inspired by her body of work.
Neighbouring the larger HERE at Outernet venue, the intimate The Lower Third space occupies the musically historic Denmark Street and is often describe as a hole in the wall of London’s immersive entertainment district. Surrounded by blue light fixtures studded on the ground, the venue was placed at the end of a softly lit alleyway, removed from the rush of Soho's busy streets. The event was held a few steps down on the basement level of the building. In a mellow, dim room, the stage was perfectly set up, complete with a drum kit, two electric guitars and a set of keys. The audience trickled down a flight of stairs and settled at the bar for their first drinks. Conveniently located by the bar, the raised platform at the back of the venue served as the perfect spot for viewing the show.
A few minutes later, Canadian, UK based artist Laura Roy entered a packed room with multi-instrumentalist and friend Geo Jordan on the strings. As Laura approached the stage, the room that was once filled with chatter, quietened in anticipation of her performance.
Laura sang about five songs to open the show. From her latest single ‘Odyssey’ to ‘Not Surprised’, she sang with passion and clarity, and delivered an incredibly special opening for Elli’s performance. Laura’s personality imitated the warming comfort of the blue-yellow blend of lights around her. She engaged with the audience on a personal level, sharing the stories of the production and inspiration of each song. At one point, she had to playfully warn the sound engineer about the silver tassels lined on the sleeves of her jacket. This last minute wardrobe addition was expected to cause some interruptions but it ended up to be a delightful accessory.
Brighton-born Elli Ingram is known for the alternative R&B music that is uniquely her own. In 2013, she first came to attention with her unique cover of Kendrick Lamar's 'Poetic Justice'. She has since released several tuneful singles, her 'Sober' EP and 2017 album, 'Love You Really'.
She returned with an all female band for a two-day headline show in London, living out her dream with Bassist Isobella Burnham, Eliane Correa on the keys, Saxophonist Allexa Nava and Drummer Jaleesa Gemerts.
Elli's performance showcased her beautifully crafted catalogue of R&B sounds with a spark of soulful jazz. Elli opened her show with a really powerful, sublime performance of the fan favourite ‘Bad Behaviour’. It was at that moment the audience knew that there was no way this show was going to disappoint them. When an artist shows her worth as immediately as Elli did, it brings together everyone in the room, forming a community that trusts her performance to draw up a memorable evening.
Elli went on to perform some of her notable tracks including ‘Flowers’, ‘No Plan B’, and ‘Sweet and Sour’ before sending off her fans out to the busy streets of London with a special performance of 'Rocket'.
To summarise her night, Elli said, "I have been away from the stage for far too long but being back up there feels like I never left. I can’t believe how electrifying the crowd were, I was really taken aback by the love they were projecting. My heart is so full of joy and I just can’t wait to get back up on the stage with my incredible band."
With Elli’s emotionally driven, commanding lyrics and Laura’s sweet and peaceful
approach to storytelling, this night could not have been any more notable.
Echoing the value of the night, Laura went on to say, “Last night was really special, the energy in the room felt magical. The room was completely packed and everyone was truly there to appreciate the music and be inside the moment. It was a real treat for me to perform my new music in such a beautiful environment.”
On a night where passions were personified, both were overwhelmed by the crowd's response and rightly so! They came and delivered the best of their talents and were rewarded by the applause and cheers of encouragement from strangers, families and friends.
You can listen to Elli's latest single 'Growing Pains' below !
Photographer credit - Jasmine Engel-Malone