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  • Imogen Heap, Birmingham 13/02/10

    Feb 14 2010, 18:07

    Imogen Heap is renowned for making the most out of the technology at her disposal in the digital era.

    On an album it is easy to make as many sounds, noises and beats as possible.

    When performing live this is difficult to recreate and most artists don't bother to add them in.

    Imogen is no ordinary artist though. Her set contained many obscure objects such as a transparent piano and the centerpiece electric tree which produced many wonderful colours, lights and imagery.

    She also explained to us all about the five microphones plugged into her fingers and demonstrated the sounds they produced. These ranged from electric beats to birdsong.

    Imogen Heap is a great performer. With most of her music being piano-based material she did a great job in moving about the stage and putting energy and meaning into her singing.

    She declared that most of her touring crew had colds and therefore she can be forgiven for not attemting the high notes in such songs as The Walk and 2-1

    There was never a dull moment as intervals were filled with Imogen's interaction with the audience and her humour filled the room with joy.

    Having the show in the O2 Academy 2 was a very good move.

    The intimacy of the venue helped to allow Imogen to portay her close relationship to her fans.

    The whites of everyone's eyes were visible and as a spectator it made you feel like she was singing to you.

    Even when she forgot the first line to Tidal, my friend Tom who I attended with made the comment "I love how she can get away with that".

    It was true. It added to the appeal of her as a person rather than taking away anything from the gig and after laughing it off she sang the rest beautifully.

    During the encore she repaid the crowd for their loyal support.

    The first thing of note was this time there was no one else on stage but Imogen. It was just her and her fans.

    She sang her most famous hit Hide And Seek and allowed the audience to join in at the end to re-create some of the echoed effects that appear on the recoreded album version.

    When performing Just For Now the audience really got involved.

    The room was split into three sections that gradually rose in volume when singing the title.

    Effectively the crowd became her technology and allowed her to sing over the top.

    The encore finished with The Moment I Said It; a great song to end any album and any gig.

    The rawness of the three encore songs was delightful and added an edge to her music that you just don't get on a disc.

    Although it was the Ellipse tour, it was rather disappointing not to hear many songs from Speak For Yourself and her debut iMegaphone wasn't even touched.

    However, all her songs were given an added edge. The heavy bass on Headlock and the extra guitar and drums in Swoon gave the songs so much more impact.

    Seeing as it's all about the fans, as a personal thing, I thought the keytar and shades were brilliant and gave her a rockstar look. This contrasted with the heart-felt The Moment I Said It.

    She was able to blend songs of joy, fear and pain effortlessly.

    Highly recommended.

    Imogen Heap
    Ellipse