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Jamie Ley, Elena Tonra and Bada Badoo (at The New Globe, Mile End)

Thanks to Andy Carlin for this article for the Indie Bands Blog. Andy will be a featured writer on numerous live reviews on the blog, much appreciated Andy.

I stumbled upon this acoustic gig at The New Globe, when I saw a poster in the window of the venue on my way home the night before the gig. The venue was the upstairs bar of the New Globe pub, a low lit and well worn room typical of smaller indie acoustic performances.

The gig started fashionably late with the first act being introduced as Bada Badoo. Having given the uninterested crowd a short statement of who he was, Bada proceeded to sing accompanied by an acoustic guitarist. The style of music was completely wrong for the bohemian like crowd, who showed little interest in the entire set of what could best be described as an out of tune male Amy Winehouse crossed with Cher. The songs all being covers were the only reason there was any interest from the crowd but his rendition of Radiohead’s Creep saw most people cringing and it was clear from the beginning there would be no more than polite applause. Bada from start to finish seemed to be trying far too hard and exemplified the X factor style of music, the show he was ironically eliminated from the previous week.

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Before the second act the crowd grew significantly – perhaps largely boosted by semi drunk people looking for somewhere to sit down. Thankfully the second act was a complete departure from the first. Though still just one woman and a guitar, Elena Tonra was a refreshing break away from the theatrics of Bada and provided some genuine musical talent. Her mournful style and poetic lyrics soon had the increasingly large crowd’s interest and the conversation which had continued throughout the first act quickly ceased. She quickly built a rapport with the crowd having a conversation about her shoes while she had to have a guitar string replaced after her third song. Her voice is a little reminiscent of Florence Welch but with a softer and more sorrowful tone to it which could lead to her songs coming over as depressing to some. For me however Elena typified the Nu-Folk movement which is increasingly popular in the UK at the moment I wouldn’t be surprised to see her making a major breakthrough soon with the popularity of artists like Laura Marling and Mumford and Sons spearheading the movement.

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After the end of Elena’s set there was a long break before the final and top billing act of the night, Jamie Ley. During the break the crowd again changed with Jamie seeming to bring in a pretty big group of fans with him. He began his set with a country and Western style song, a total shock to those who hadn’t heard him before as he looks like your stereotypical indie lead singer. The song combined soft and simple guitar riffs with a deep toned voice and a catchy rhythm to quickly get the crowd’s attention. Jamie had the best stage, stage being the chair he was sitting on, presence of the night quickly interacting with the crowd who were by this point virtually sitting at his feet the room was so full.  Though his second song was a little slow, the rest of the set quickly built on the first songs style, resulting in a country-folk style with some easy to pick up lyrics. It’s easy to see why he has received national radio playtime – a favourite of XFM DJ John Kennedy, and has played for albums compiled by Noah and the Whale and Mumford and Sons. Finally to finish the night Jamie got the crowd to sing along with him to The Kinks ‘Sunny Afternoon’ a great move as he got the whole room singing along, even those who didn’t know the classic song were doing their best to hum in tune.

Myspace page

Acoustic folk is a driving force in the London music scene at the moment and artists like Elena Tonra and Jamie Ley give you the chance to see a couple of top class Nu-Folk artists for next to nothing.

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6 Responses to “Jamie Ley, Elena Tonra and Bada Badoo (at The New Globe, Mile End)”
  1. assi says:

    When are you going to post again? You really entertain a lot of people!

  2. absol says:

    When are you going to post again? You really entertain me!

  3. glen says:

    I agree with shannon. I was there. Alot of people were suprised at first seeing bada but by the end of fade to black everyone was clapping. you dont expect a guy looking like that to be belting out vocals like he did. It was a good performance. Some guy was filming it also so it might be on youtube or somewhere. Compared to whose still in x-factor right now bada is way up there.

  4. Shannon says:

    Great gig, Jamie was fecking brilliant! But whoever wrote this clearly isnt a fan of the X factor, the crowd absolutely loved bada, he was definitely the most impressive vocally

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