Leah McFall @ Oslo, Hackney 15th April 2017

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Leah McFall is a sublime singer songstress who was born in Northern Ireland. Nowadays McFall resides in London and this April saw her embark on a tour to coincide with the release of the INK EP. Now Leah made her emergence way back in 2010 as she independently released her debut Frills and Fur EP plus she also supported X Factor winner Leon Jackson on tour.

Aside from that Leah came to my attention back in 2013 as she was a contestant on BBC’s reality singing competition The Voice, her renditions of the likes of RIP, I Will Survive, Loving You, Killing Me Softly and I Will Always Love You literally blew me away. McFall’s vocals were spine tingling beautiful, seriously she had something extremely special and I was Team Leah. Now Leah McFall made the final but unfortunately she lost out to Andrea Begley which was a great shame because she truly had The Voice.

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2013 saw McFall support mentor Will.i.am on his #willpower Tour then a year later she supported Jessie J on the Forestry Tour. Now things were looking rosy for Leah, July 2014 saw her drop her debut single Home on Capitol Records. Now this tune even featured will.i.am and I must say Home was highly addictive. That month I was fortunate to witness Leah support La Roux at the Popjustice Deluxe Monthly, back then she performed originals which featured on the upcoming debut LP Weird To Wonderful later that October. However this record was cancelled and Leah was quietly dropped from the record label. Now this was a complete travesty. Three years later Leah has independently released her sophomore EP INK and this featured the likes of Wolf Den, Bottle It and Happy Human. I for one am so happy McFall never gave up and is still living the dream.

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The INK tour had reached London, the venue being Oslo and this was a complete sell out. Also it was an early one as well because Leah graced the stage at 8.20pm. So the band then graced the stage then McFall followed moments later. This sumptuous set kicked off with Home and this had been transformed into a slick R&B jam. Leah’s succulent vocals were incredibly delicate and those delicious lyrics had me hooked from the get go. In fact Home was rather chilled out and halfway through this cut morphed into Try Again. Now this song was originally by the late and great Aaliyah, Leah McFall definitely did this number complete justice. McFall’s falsettos made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge. Actually Leah has actually taken Aaliyah’s advice “If first you don’t succeed/ Dust yourself and try again”. Straight after it was then time for a double dosage of originals from the INK EP and first up was Happy Human. Now this was a refreshing cut aided by Leah’s sugary sweet vocal tones and highly addictive lyrics “I’m happy to be human, happy to be human/ Don’t you know that/ I’m happy to be human, happy to be human/ Not a machine, not a machine/ Not a machine, not a machine”. Actually McFall’s flawless vocal delivery reminded me of Britney Spears. Once over it was then time for a bit of Bottle It. Now the vocals were pure perfection and then you had those upbeat funky lyrics which had me moving on the spot. Leah’s high pitched warbling sent shivers down my spine, one word for this R&B flavoured cut would be enchanting. “Hi, I’m already sweating my ass off. I’m going to take this crap out my pocket. I have some powder, if the front row can see like the reflection in my face can you let me know. I also got a little bit of lipstick because I tend to like snog the microphone when I’m singing, so you can let me know if lipstick’s on my chin. There’s so many of you, thank you so much for coming this is literally insane. I cannot believe I sold out my first London show. We couldn’t get any promoters, we just put it up on socials and we booked it on our credit cards. I’ve never crapped myself more in my life. Honestly I just can’t believe, it’s been years when I was on the show and everything. We couldn’t afford promotion or nothing so I honestly just tweeted it” McFall humbly said before revealing that she was testing out some new tunes “Let me know if there shit” Leah joked. Rubber was an upbeat epic, the lyrics had been perfectly crafted and McFall’s vocals radiated plenty of refreshing R&B vibes. Everything about this glorious number was spot on, those upbeat lyrics left me in an utter daze. After plenty of applause it was time for the next newie and this being Fair Trade. Now this was a mellowing jam and McFall’s vocals were hushed/ delicate. Now this song was ever so captivating, as Fair Trade progressed it then transformed into something rather upbeat. Those superb lyrics were extraordinary and then you had McFall’s pristine candy coated vocals which left me spellbound.

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It was then time for something from the INK EP and this being the luscious Language. Now this tnumber was literally a spectacle, Language was beautiful bubblegum pop and those spectacular lyrics sunk their claws into me “All I can speak is you and me/ A secret language/ Ain’t no words that could translate/ This foreign language/ All I can speak is you and me/ A secret language/ I’m so done with English/ Cos I love/ Every little thing you say, say, say, say/ Every little thing you say, say, say, say/ You’re the only one that don’t need to translate/ Every little thing you say, say, say, say”. Just witnessing this being performed life right in front of my eyes left me utterly uplifted. Beatfox was then called up for the impeccable Weird To Wonderful. Now this tantalising tune was the title track of the debut album which unfortunately got cancelled. Anyways this was a soulful R&B cut aided by out to world lyrics which resulted in something rather magical. Anyhow McFall’s vocals were buttery smooth and those whimsical lyrics left me in a trance “You turn my Weird To Wonderful/ You made me feel so beautiful/ You turn my Weird To Wonderful”. Also the pair up with Beatfox created something which left me spellbound. It was then straight onto No Ordinary Love. This original offering served as the warm up song before Home was released. Now No Ordinary Love was a slushy down beat love song which Leah beautifully delivered.

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Following on you had yet another tune from the INK EP and this came in the form of Colours At A Funeral. This was so spectacular, Leah’s exquisite vocal tones memerised me and those beautiful sizzling lyrics had an anthem feel to them “I thought love was going to be beautiful/ Feel like I wore colour to a funeral/ We’re born and we died/ I know I’ll be alright/ It’s just that I thought love was gonna be beautiful I wore colour to a funeral”. Leah McFall literally went full throttle which resulted in something astonishing. Once over it was time for the first cover of the evening and this coming in the shape of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. Now McFall completely owned this cut and her smooth sweet vocals were mind blowing.

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“Do you remember The Voice? I think I’ll tell you a wee story about The Voice. Do you remember they cut my hair. I was so tired, I was so so tired, and they put them in big like pig tales. They were like what you think? I was like I think I think I look like Dumbo. They told me no photographers were going to be in. Lies I was in The Sun on Sunday (News Of The World). So they’ll come up to me right and Will goes babe you look cute. I was like yeah you listen, there is only two of us, one of us has an opinion that’s being listened to, it’s not me. You’re going to go in there and tell them to take these friggin’ things out my hair. He was like OK. It was too late to wash and dry it so I still had a fro. I don’t even know why I told you that story. So this is the first record that I wrote once I had to wait out some contracts we weren’t releasing a record blah blah blah same story different artist. This is the first record I wrote and I was like OK sitting down I’m going to write this record completely by myself. So I basically wrote this song like a prayer, I was just like oh my goodness I need protection, I need protecting from this industry, I’m going completely by myself and I’m so scared. I usually perform this on my knees but I decided to wear white. I look like Beetle Juice by the way. So I wrote this song just being like you know I feel like I’m in a Wolf Den” Leah then said before getting stuck into Wolf Den. Anyways this was a wondrous song aided by lovely lyrics and McFall’s angelic vocal tones. The verses were incredibly smooth and then you had that spine tingling chorus “Sweet Faith/ Sweet Faith/ The wolves are at my side/ But I know their teeth can’t bite/ So I won’t hide, no/ I’ll keep singing that/ Sweet Faith!”. I have to mention that Leah’s ethereal vocal tones sent shivers down my spine.

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After plenty of applause it was then time for a bit of Solid Gold. Now this tune oozed plenty of potential, the delectable lyrics had been well crafted and then you had McFall’s vocals which were sweet like cinnamon “They try to take our paradise/ But what is real could never die” I for one cannot wait to hear the studio version of this charming cut. With the amount of times Leah sang the words solid gold made this a tune you’ll never forget. “This is our last song, or is it” McFall curiously said before mentioning that she was heading to merch after the show to meet every single Giant. It was then time for INK or I Now Know.  This cut was a soulful tinged tune aided by dreamy hypnotic lyrics and Leah’s thrilling vocals. It actually ended what had been a wondrous evening.

Once over they left the stage only to return again for the majestic Loving You. Now this saw Leah tackle Minnie Riperton and the results were extraordinary. She sang this when on The Voice and just witnessing it literally left me in a dream like state. McFall’s vocals were sugary sweet and she hit all the high notes at ease. “So this is the last song, it actually is. I always get really emo in this song so I’m so sorry. So obviously I love after when people start telling me there little stories and stuff and there journeys, it means so much to me. Because this was mine, it got to the stage when I was writing this record where I was just like do you know what I’m like so free now. Before I just really felt like I had to fit like a mould. Before I just felt like there was a real kind of like push on this is what you need to be, this is who you should be and I couldn’t do that and I don’t want to do that and I don’t think anyone should do that. The only way you’re not going to get eat up by any industry that you’re in is just be yourself, be exactly who you are because it’s lovely and just express yourself when you want to. This song actually doesn’t have a name at the minute I want to call it my emo song because I get emo” Leah said to the packed out audience before ending with OmO. Now this was a beautiful ballad, those succulent lyrics left me under a spell and then you had Leah McFall’s crisp vocals which left me completely enthralled. Actually those lyrics were tinged with dashes of emotion as McFall sang about her fear of being replaced which would result in her being on her own. “Don’t be afraid to have to be the same/ It’s perfectly OK to be a little strange”. Now this tune was pure dynamite and I envision this being called On My Own.

SET LIST

Home/ Try Again
Happy Human
Bottle It
Rubber
Fair Trade
Language
Weird To Wonderful
No Ordinary Love
Colours At A Funeral
I Will Survive
Wolf Den
Solid Gold
INK

ENCORE

Loving You
OmO

OVERALL: This was one sensational evening witnessing music I love being performed right in front of my eyes. The glut of new songs did surprise me because originally I expected the whole of the INK EP plus a few covers. Also it was a real treat just to hear oldies Home, No Ordinary Love and Weird To Wonderful performed live.

Anyways the new songs were superb, the likes of Rubber, Fair Trade, Solid Gold and Leah’s Emo song has me anticipating either an album or a follow up EP. Leah McFall has something extremely special, she is a sensational songstress and I admire the fact she never gave up on her dream.

As promised McFall went straight to the merchandise stall where she met her fans. Just meeting Leah made me a Happy Human.

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