Live: Eliza Doolittle @ Oxford Arts Factory
There is just something about that Cockney accent; it has an element of solid class whilst simultaneously representing everything messy, drunk and stale – however, I am speaking only from a naïve Aussie point of view. I mean, Lilly Allen has it, Kate Nash has it, and the Sex Pistols had it – which ever way you look at it, the Cockney brogue has made it’s ‘name’ and embedded itself deep within the British music culture.
The Cockney genealogy has been continued with one of Britain’s freshest exports – about whom I am all ‘6’s and 7’s’ – she goes by the name of Eliza Doolittle. I had the pleasure of catching up with her at the Oxford Art Factory on Tuesday night this week to ‘Goose’s Gregory Peck ‘er aahhht’.
The night began with a cute set from Lanie Lane. Ok, if you have ever seen Lanie Lane perform before, I think you would agree that her stage performance is somewhat similar to that of infamous country and western star; June Carter (for those of you who have seen the movie ‘Walk The Line’. Lanie stood before the mic in her tight blue jeans, court heels, and cowboy ‘looking’ hat – completed with a pin-up hair doo and bright red lipstick.
Lanie was great! The only criticisms I would make is that 1: a lot of her music sounded the same… I mean, it was sure entertaining; however for me personally, I can only take so much of a repetitive bass line and a limited vocal range. And 2: she didn’t really grab the audience. To be fair though, it was a ‘tough crowd’; in the end, it took a hyper Eliza Doolittle to loosen them up.
I was really impressed with Lanie’s style and how well she had managed to capture the sound she was going for. She’s one of a small few in the Australian music industry tackling the niche she’s managed to grab by the balls – and so therefore I have a huge respect for her. I guess that her sound is just not something I would entertain my ears with on a regular basis – so my attention span was fairly limited when it came to detailing her performance.
All in all, Lanie Lane is definitely worth seeing. She has great sounds and huge talent. Just quickly, I’m going to throw this out to anyone who might know this and who was at the gig – was that Lisa Mitchell’s Double Bassist?
I am a huge fan of punctual gigs – I think it shows respect for the audience by the artist, so I was delighted when at exactly 9.30pm Eliza Doolittle shuffled her little butt onto the stage. To compare her to artists you might be more familiar with, I would say she’s a mixture of Lilly Allen and Kate Nash, with the vocal flare of Christina Aguilera.
My initial thoughts in ‘split second chronological order’ went something like this; Legs. English chick in ‘Daisy Dukes’?? Butt. Koala shirt. Is she looking at me?? Ooooh, red shoes. Pelvic thrusting? Really?
Eliza is a great performer; like, she’s truly fabulous. She made such a good connection with the audience – I was so proud of her, it was as if I were a parent tearing up back stage looking at my little girl sing ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ on stage at her first school concert… well, it wasn’t quite like that, but it was definitely awesome to witness an artist at work in her element.
Eliza really knows her own ability and she utilizes it to her utmost. Her voice is clean, crisp and completely Cockney, and she has an incredible vocal range! She was dedicating songs to people in the audience left, right and centre; which got the crowd going, and she was making serious eye contact with some lucky dude at the front of the stage – her Mr. Medicine?
Besides the fact that the Double Bass was way too loud to begin with (which was picked up early on in the gig) and one terrible female ‘jiggler’ in the audience that looked as though she was suffering an epileptic fit – the gig was big clean fun. If not for her profound Cockney accent, I could have easily taken Eliza Doolittle to be a typical Northern Beaches Aussie chick – I mean, she was tanned, skinny, wearing short shorts – she fit all the criteria! I think the fact that there was a stoned Koala plastered on the front of her T-Shirt gave her naivety away though; definitely British.
Included in her set list were songs like Mr. Medicine, Rollerblades and Pack Up. She also performed a muddled rendition of Angus and Julia Stones ‘Big Jet Plane’, and Cee-Lo Green’s ‘F**k You’- both of which were well received! At one point during her performance of ‘Mr. Medicine’, she had a spunk at the front of the stage chant ‘Oh Mr. Medicine, Oh Mr. Medicine’ out of tune and alluringly into the mic for her… ooh la la.
Eliza worked the crowd, performed well, and successfully showed herself off to the Australian audience. I think that it is safe to say her break into the Aussie world is becoming more cemented now. Her de-butt album has just been released this year in July, so make sure you get your hands on a copy and sink your teeth in!! Do it!!
In the Cockney accent of Eliza Doolittle – ‘Go pot yourself!’