Scottish singer/ songstress Emily Middlemas took a trip down Memory Lane and performed a sterling set of both covers and originals at London’s Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. Way back in 2014 a 15 year old Emily participated in The X Factor, whilst she didn’t make it past the Judges Houses her vocal abilities literally knocked me for six. Two years later Middlemas made a shock return and this time she made it to the live shows. Emily in fact sailed all the way to the Semi Finals and was eliminated after a sing off with eventual winner Matt Terry.
Anyhow this spectacular performance consisted of 14 songs and what kick started proceedings was Ex’s & Oh’s.This was a nice throwback as Emily performed this Elle King tune at Judges Houses and it was nice to witness it live. Middlemas delivered this exquisite tune to perfection, the vocals were raspy but sweet and those delicious lyrics were so contagious. Now I adore Elle King (the Love Stuff LP is AMAZING) and Emily owned this Americana drenched track. “How are we all? Are you good? This next song is one of my favourites from the show”Middlemas mentioned before tackling Rag N Bone Man’s Human. Now this was a contagious cut which resonated plenty of soulful vibes and the upbeat edgy guitar melody had me tapping my toe. “So I’m going to tell you guys a little bit of a story. This next song that I wrote is actually about my best friend and she’s absolutely gorgeous and she does ballerina dancing and she’s just absolutely beautiful. Her boyfriend was really bad to her, he just never gave her any time. This is about her and she just deserves the world” Emily Middlemas said before delving into 100th Time. Everything about this original was spot on, the luscious lyrics were so compelling whilst Middlemas’s breathtaking vocals were super sassy. The story telling 100th Time actually possessed anthem like qualities and that fast paced middle 8 left me utterly hypnotised. “This is all about taking you guys down Memory Lane and it’s just kinda like taking you back to the past and kind of showing you guys me grown up I guess. This next song was one of my favourite songs I used to sing when I was really really young”Middlemas said to the intimate crowd before sitting down on the edge of the stage. The song in question being Bill Withers’s Ain’t No Sunshine and Emily’s rendition left me astounded. For starters she was sitting down right in front of me and secondly her sumptuous smoky tones were so heavenly. Delivered with plenty of gusto Emily Middlemas definitely brought justice to the original.
“This next song is for any of you guys that are a little bit confused about a relationship” Emily went on to say before diving into newie Broken Record. I’ve got nothing but praise for this mesmeric cut, the lyrics had me hooked and there was a sleekness to Middlemas’s enchanting vocals “You know me and you know that I’m lost/ Got no guidance from you baby, just stop/ I’m more the pictures/ I’m more the words/ I need you/ To need me/ To remind me/ That you love me/ But you don’t tell me it’s a lie”. Emily Middlemas truly does have a gift when it comes to writing impeccable originals. “This next song is a song I used to dance to in my room all the time and I loved it so so much. I must have been about 8 when I first listened to this song” Emily then mentioned before getting stuck into KT Tunstall’s Suddenly I See. Delivered at a mid tempo, this wondrous cover was a joyous masterpiece and then you had her vibrant candy coated vocals which left me completely spellbound. “This next song is another song that I absolutely love singing. I used to sing this with my little keyboard and it was just amazing. I took my keyboard everywhere with me and I loved it to pieces” Emily said to the audience before tacking Alicia Keys’s Empire State Of Mine. Still I found Middlemas’s interpretation to be incredibly refreshing and her soaring vocals had the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge. Emily then took to her white acoustic guitar for the next two tunes.
“This next little song is a song that I wrote and it’s just really really nice and simple. It’s just about literally going to the park with someone you like and it’s just about sitting on a bench and seeing all the views” Middlemas went onto say before Tree & A Bench. I found this succulent song to be incredibly cheery and the soft vocals left me entranced. Just seeing Emily perform this mesmerising number gave me a warm feeling deep inside and those catchy lyrics were so sweet “Don’t need a lot / Just love is all we’ve got/ And a Tree And A Bench/ And a favourite place to stop”. “This next song is a song I wrote about us girls kind of being girls. It’s about when your just like sitting at home and the person you fancy or your boyfriend goes out on a night out, pestering them, texting them where are you, who you dancing with. Then you make up all this stuff in your head and your like I’m just being so stupid. And you just want to sit and eat Chinese’s and chocolates” Emily said before getting stuck into the dreamy Your Girl. This delectable song was like a snowball going down a hill, it starts off slow then as it progresses it picks up pace. I have so much admiration for this track Middlemas’s vocals were sweet and then you have those catchy lyrics which had me grinning till the very end “And I know it can cause confusion/ Though I know I can be delusional/ I know I get jealous/ But I’m just a girl/ I’m sorry I’m late/ You feel that way/ I trusted you/ I promise you babe/ I know I get jealous/ But I’m just a girl”. Towards the end everyone was clapping along in unison.
“As some of you know I was on the tele. I performed this song and this was one of the songs I got the most amazing response from” Emily said before launching into Radiohead’s Creep. One word for Middlemas’s interpretation would be spellbinding. Creep was a tad haunting but those vocals were so spine tingling. Straight after it was time for a bit of Be For One. Now this was Emily’s very own take on Dua Lipa and she completely nailed it. I really liked the whole acoustic feel, those vocals were crisp and the lyrics had a hold on me. I’ve heard the original plenty of times and Emily faultlessly pulled it off. The upbeat Fuck Boyfollowed on and I found it to be super sassy. Grace Kellycame next and this saw Emily Middlemas take on MIKA. This interpretation was literally a colourful explosion, Emily’s vivacious vocals were sugary sweet and those spectacular lyrics were uplifting. Delivered with plenty of gusto this marvelous attempt at Grace Kelly was a joy to behold. After thanking everybody Emily Middlemas then capped of a wondrous evening with Prince’s epic Purple Rain. Everything about this was sheer perfection, the verses were slick whilst the chorus had everyone joining in. Also Middlemas’s vocals were buttery smooth and I could tell she put everything into this phenomenal song.
Ex’s & Oh’s
Ain’t No Sunshine
Suddenly I See
Empire State Of Mine
Tree & A Bench
Be The One
OVERALL: I adored Emily Middlemas the moment I saw her on my TV screen in 2014. I’m so glad she returned to The X Factor last year. Emily has something incredibly special, her singing skills are ever so impeccable and then her songwriting is literally on another level.
The moment Middlemas announced the Memory Lane tour was hitting London I had to book straight away. The new single Lost & Found is too amazing for words. Still this was one exquisite evening and each cover/ original performed were out of this world.
When it comes to picking a favourite I would have to say Your Girl has the slight edge with 100th Time coming a close second. But then the likes of Broken Record and Tree & A Bench leaves me anticipating the next move. Emily Middlemas really can write a mean song and I for one cannot wait for the day I have the debut LP in my hands.