Playing to an eagerly anticipating audience who were awaiting tracks from her recent Grammy winning album ‘Ellipse’, Imogen Heap started her virgin set in Singapore with the first single off the album – First Train Home.
Known for her avid passion and capabilities in full fledged producing, Imogen the experimentalist successfully blended electronic tracks and loops with live instrumentals and her captivating vocals – a true all-in-one feat for a mostly solo performance. There were even two mini microphones attached to her wrists, allowing her to amplify the various sound instruments littered throughout the stage.
She then eased the crowd in with the album’s second track Wait It Out, skillfully exhibiting her instrumental prowess and vocal intricacies. The soothing sounds of Between Sheets then followed, which gradually fused into stronger foot-tapping beats in Bad Body Double – a quirky song everyone could relate to, where we could pin all blame for the no-so-nice things that we do on a bad body double.
There’s a rich honesty about Imogen, as the audience is able to feel a warmth and genuine belief in her lyrics. The repetitive lyrics are just in the right amount, tuned to a musical precision where she reels the crowd in a spellbinding awe.
My personal favourite Let Go, which I discovered in her Frou Frou collaboration with Guy Sigsworth, did not disappoint. Clearly, it was a crowd favourite as well, popularized by being in the soundtrack of the Garden State flim.
Songs from her 2005 album ‘Speak for yourself’ -Headlock, Hide and Seek and Just for Now were greeted with enthusiasm, to an audience clearly familiar with her works. The latter two were part of the encore set, but Just for Now stood out as she interestingly managed to get the audience to break into 3 sections and each sing a specific part in a specific way. “You can do it, it’s in your name, SINGapore,” she implores. Sharp and humourous.
I felt the only downer was the Cellist from Singapore, who was part of a global tour initiative to have local Cellist play the cello bits in some of her songs. A Caucasian who is locally based, she stuck well to her score, but wasn’t as spontaneous as she was hoped to be.
Pleased with the warm reception she received, Imogen promised to return and urged the audience to vote for songs to put on her next setlist, via her website. She is definitely one socially-networked artiste who actively stays connected to her fans via facebook and more infamously, twitter. (Find her at#imogenheap)
The concert was thoroughly enjoyable like a series of spontaneous combustions and hypnotic melodies. It ended beautifully with The Moment I said It – a beautifully organic song which exemplified Imogen the poet, combined with inspiring musicality.
Many thanks to Greenhorn Productions!
*Picture by Jonathan Kwa