GIG REVIEW: Jade Helliwell – Zigfrid Von Underbelly, London

It’s been a whirlwind for Jade the past few years. As we are all very well aware, she had a viral video, but I don’t like to talk about this too much as I believe Jade would be enjoying the same success without this video, as her talent is so genuine and true and her work ethic is faultless. Her first headline show in London radiated all of this.

The wonderful Jess Thristan opened the show with an acoustic set; her powerful vocals and her sassy yet melancholic songs lit up the room. She kicked off the night in style with a perfect balance of fun, upbeat tunes and emotional, heartbreaking songs, most noticeably a song that seemed to tell the story of her parents’ divorce. Thristan was a new find for me, and I very much look forward to listening to more of her music, as she teased a new single may be around the corner.

Jade kicked off her full band show with upbeat Sue McMillan co-write ‘Boom Tick’. I was already dancing along with the dazzling display Jade was putting on, as were the intimate crowd. Jade mixed up the evening with some of her old songs, such as a personal favourite ‘Ask Me To Stay’, which was actually one of my favourite moments of the night. This song was performed acoustically but still had such a profound impact as Jade’s vocal echoed around the room with just the simplicity of 2 acoustic guitars. Now, Jade’s older music is absolutely fantastic for sure, but the material she has recently been releasing such as ‘Drive’ and ‘Stormchaser’ is like ‘stop you in your tracks’ good! It’s as if she has really found her place, her sound and in fact herself. The power and confidence she exudes, not only in the songs but also in her performance, is full of attitude and very impressive.

Jade is definitely one of the front-runners in the growing UK Country scene right now, and a strong one at that. I was lucky enough to support Jade at a gig in Manchester recently, and as much as she is super-talented, she is also a lovely person and very supportive of new artists. Jade is the epitome of a hard-working new artist and very important to the scene. I think as much as she will follow the genre, the genre will absolutely follow her. With such an impressive start to her career, Jade has so much to come, especially with this constant stream of new music she is releasing right now. In my personal opinion, this new music is the best era of Jade Helliwell we have seen yet, even if her career is still really at the beginning.

Shannon Hynes
@S_HynesMusic