Live Music + Gig Reviews

Andreya Triana @ Lexington, London

18 February 2015

Andreya Triana Andreya Triana first surfaced half a decade ago with her album Lost Where I Belong. She’s taken her sweet time over her second album, Giants (due in May) but this tortoise-like approach seems to be paying off: there’s sufficient buzz around her to ensure that this intimate show at the Lexington is sold out, and another, much bigger, concert is lined up at Village Underground in April.

Triana is a Londoner who makes tasteful, melodic soul music. Her voice (a smoky concoction redolent of Cassandra Wilson) and her formalist melodies are retro-leaning, but her songs’ arrangements are awash with subtly contemporary touches. Given the right push, Triana could become a regular on the Radio 2 playlist and, with a touch of good fortune, she could sell a lot of records.

She certainly doesn’t want for good songs. Lullaby is like a pure shot of happiness. Gold may bring back memories of Duffy, but its strident, almost militaristic beat gets the somewhat stiff crowd (more of whom later) moving late in the set. And Giants, her new album’s title track, might be her best song: a ballad of immense power that’s the perfect showcase for her voice.

Her performance tonight does a lot of things a good live show should do. Triana sounds note-perfect throughout and her backing band, though determinedly lacking in personality, absolutely nail these songs’ varied arrangements. Triana is in ebullient form throughout, perhaps buoyed by the fact that her career – which could so easily have petered out – is on an upward trajectory.

And yet, for the most part, this show fails to excite. This is mostly attributable to the audience: there appear to be a lot of well-wishers in the crowd – perhaps including a number of people who’ve stuck with Triana throughout the fallow period that followed her debut album. Unfortunately, this goodwill manifests itself in an overly-reverential atmosphere that at times is akin to a library. As a live experience, Triana could do with a little more grit and a little less restraint but, as a singer and songwriter, she has no shortage of talent. It’ll be fascinating to see how far she goes.

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Andreya Triana @ Lexington, London
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