Olivia Sebastianelli @ Qbic Hotel 23rd June 2016


Born in Croydon but now based in Brighton is talented singer songwriter Olivia Sebastianelli. I came across her after hearing Lighting Fires, the vocals were so sweet leaving me completely hooked. At 22 Sebastianelli has achieved what most artists dream of. Now Olivia was signed to Sony but 18 months later she left the label because she was being moulded into something she wasn’t. Just knowing that gets major kudos from me because Olivia wanted to be her own artist. Since then Sebastianeli released the Perfect Getaway EP on Ecola Records then you have the album Pebbles. It was this year when I first got my first slice of Olivia Sebastianelli. Having attended The Great Escape in Brighton last month Olivia was high on my priority list of artists to see. Back then I fell in love with the likes of newies Bombshell, Oblivious, High & Dry and the Bonnie Raitt cover I Can’t Make You Love Me.


Aside from that the location of this performance was at the Qbic Hotel which was located near Aldgate East. I was actually rather relishing this performance because I was thoroughly impressed with what I heard at the Latest Music Bar in May. At 9.50 Sebastianelli then took to the stool along with her two piece band. “My name’s Olivia Sebastianelli and I’m going to do is sing. So this first song I’m going to do is a song called Oblivion. It’s about when you’re in a relationship with someone and you suddenly don’t like them any more and they don’t realise” she then mentioned before getting stuck into Oblivion. The set performed was exactly the same as what had been showcased on The Great Escape with one exception. Anyhow this was a emotional ballad with a vocal delivery which left me hypnotised.“You don’t know what I look like/ When I’m not in love with you/ The truth is so transparent/ It’s Oblivious to you”. Even if Olivia hadn’t given the explanation you could tell what was happening from the clear cut lyrics. Sebastianelli gave it her all and honestly any song about falling out of love does tug at your heartstrings.


Straight after it was onto the beautiful Bombshell.This appears to be a love song but it wasn’t. Just like Oblivion, Bombshell was about a relationship which had come to an end. This had been delivered to perfection and it was a cut which had been superbly written. The verses were entrancing whilst the chorus had me hooked “Bombshell, for the passer by/ Facing smiles and butterflies/ If I don’t leave you wondering why/ Something to remember/ Remember me by”. The next song of the evening was Cam Girl which had been recently released. Olivia then mentioned how she knows people that work in the sex industry, one of them came up to her and said she was sick of the stereotype which then resulted in Sebastainelli writing this number. Picking up the acoustic guitar Cam Girl was a swooning ballad esque cut aided by a soft vocal delivery. “It’s Saturday Night/ And you’re staying here/ You’re not the type to risk anything/ Been a disappointment/ Locked out in the rain/ You could search for love, instead you type you’re name”. I really adored the straight to the point with lyrics which told you that being a stripper/ cam girl is just an act and they really are down to earth.


“It’s been done by absolutely bloody everyone but I’ve sung it since I was about 12. So I’m going to do it as well. I do the Bonnie Raitt version coz it’s the best one” Olivia mentioned before tackling I Can’t Make You Love Me. I agree with Sebastianelli nothing will beat the original. Now this was a soothing soulful tinged ballad which sent chills up my spine . Having sung this song since the age of 12, Olivia Sebastianelli put in a resounding rendition of this delightful number and pulled it off it the process. Her vocals were rather powerful which left me in a trance. “I wrote it about when I left my old record label and I was really annoyed with them coz they were rubbish. This is about how rubbish they were” Olivia said before launching into a brand spanking new tune and this being Crowded By Giants. Obviously it was Sony that she was referring to. The guitar chords reminded me of Wonderwall by Oasis. Well Crowded By Giants saw Sebastianelli go full throttle “Crowded By Giants are paid to know best/ Fields full of experts leaving an expert mess/ And I’m made to say I’m sorry/ With my pension in tact/ Crowded By Giants drowning out of the fight”. This had been superbly written and those lyrics are straight to the point. I understand why Olivia left the label but it must have taken some serious guts to do so.

Things then came to a close with the first Olivia Sebastianelli single and this being Lighting Fires. This was an enchanting aided by uber catchy lyrics“Love lights fires/ Or are they just funeral pyres?/ You’ll never get to know/ If you don’t give in and just let it go”. Sebastianelli put it a sterling performance which oozed bundles of energy.


Cam Girl
I Can’t Make You Love Me
Crowded By Giants
Lighting Fires

OVERALL: This was an exquisite evening witnessing an act who most definitely has a bright future ahead of her. Each cut performed also showcased her startling songwriting skills. Seriously an EP has to be in the works because this set just blew me away. Olivia’s vocal delivery was top notch.

Each of the 6 songs performed were simply sublime. Her take on Bonnie Raitt left me lost for words. Singles Cam Girl and Lighting Fires were infectious. The new songs Oblivious and Bombshell have to be released at some point this year.

My highlight of this delectable set had to be the powerful Crowded By Giants. I’m actually hoping I’ll have the chance of hearing the studio version one day. On the whole I look forward to the next Olivia Sebastianelli gig.


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