LIVE REVIEW: Erykah Badu, Hammersmith Apollo (London), 27.06.2012

Lianne La Havas is even more excited than the ecstatuc audience at the impending arrival of r’n’b legend Erykah Badu to the sold out Hammersmith Apollo. With songs from her impending debut album, the hotley tipped La Havas screams Badu’s name out frantically during her set, yet keeps her cool as she hypnotises her audience with her tasty tracks. With echoes of everyone from India Arie to Badu herself, La Havas is a class act who will soon be as respected as her idol.

With an extended break between sets, the audience’s excited anticipation results in a chain of screams before Badu’s calming arrival. A divine presence, Badu oozes cool as she launches into het unforgettable set.

As she meanders through material old and new, Badu redefines what it means to captivate an audience. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Badu pulls no stunts, simply singing her way into the hearts if those around her.

In what feels more like an intimate jam session with her close pals, Badu entrances the packed house into a shoulder swaying, hand punching, singalong. Blissful, calming, exciting and charming, it is little surprise that the roof is nearly roared off as Badu closes her hour and a half long set in what feels like less than a blink of an eye.

With both La Havas and Badu proving their dexterity effortlessly the evening is beyond even words for perfect. This is an occasion where wow will have to suffice.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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