GIG REVIEW: Lindsay Ell – Live At The Borderline, London

Credit: John Berresford

I was lucky enough to see Lindsay Ell on both of her stops in the UK this time around, in London at The Borderline and in Manchester at The Night and Day Café. She smashed both nights out of the park, as was expected. I was introduced to Lindsay Ell through her Instagram, funnily enough. I had never heard her music, but I followed her on social media. Her drive, motivation and passion that comes through on her socials is what made me pick up her album and listen. It’s no surprise, due to her hard work, that her music is absolutely brilliant.

On a slight tangent from this, prior to her visit to the UK, all the gear Ell would need for a show was stolen. Any normal person could be forgiven for having a break down, cancelling the shows, going home to eat ice cream and drink wine, ha! Not Lindsay Ell. Both shows were phenomenal; she carried the crowd strongly with the sparse amount of equipment she had left, and her slick collection of material, but today I’m going to talk about the seemingly annual Borderline show in London.

Lindsay opened the show with a well-known Lindsay classic, ‘Waiting On You’. As if a switch had been turned on, the sold-out crowd immediately started singing along and they didn’t tire for the entirety of the show. Producing awesomeness after awesomeness, Lindsay graced us with songs off of her Top 5 and CCMA-nominated album ‘The Project’, such as ‘Mint’ – a personal favourite, ‘Champagne’ – her latest single (a personal favourite) and of course, Lindsay’s biggest track to date, the incredible ‘Criminal’, also a personal favourite (dammit, they’re all my favourite, alright?!).

One of the highlights for me was when she sang ‘Space’, another one of the album’s stand-outs. This song stood out with an almighty feat. Written by Caitlyn Smith, Heather Morgan and Maggie Chapman. Lindsay executed this song with such intense power. She was as lost singing as we were listening. It was as if we all stepped out of The Borderline into some other universe for 3 minutes. It was a special moment, and insane that it was led by a single guitar and vocal.

Another stand-out was the premiere of a new song by the name of ‘Temptation’. Lindsay introduced it by saying “I have no idea what’ll be on the next record, but if I had to guess this would be my first choice.” Written as a newly single lady, ‘Temptation’ is about giving in to treating yourself to some ‘me time’ every now and again, as you no longer have that constant longing to be with the one you love. An extremely empathetic song, as again Lindsay lost herself in the performance of the track, not showing a single hint of nerves that may arise with debuting a new song.

Lindsay Ell is a ‘real’ performer, she is incredibly true to herself and the passion she ignites is blinding. Here, in the UK, we can see this, and I think that could be one of the many reasons we love her so much. She is a master of her craft and genuinely deserves every bit of success she has received so far with ‘Criminal’, and the further success that is surely just around the corner. It’s just a shame she isn’t based nearer really. I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s back, and I assume in a bigger venue. Sooner or later, we’ll be wishing we could have these intimate nights in The Borderline back, as she is destined to sky rocket here in the UK. She really is one of our faves.

Shannon Hynes
@s_hynesmusic