6th December | Trinity Centre
Photos: Matthew Fessey
It’s one thing listening to your favourite album, but to see it performed live for the very first time in its entirety is a completely different experience. That album being one of my favourites of 2016, Nothing’s Real by singer, songwriter and producer Alexandra Lilah Denton, also known as Shura.
It’s been quite the journey for the breakthrough artist since the release of her debut single ‘Touch’ in 2014, which went viral across the blogosphere and soon after, amassing fans and live shows all over the world. Now approaching the end of the year with an album that’s outright pushed the pop genre to the next level, Shura wraps up to what has been a thrilling campaign with a last stop tour across the UK.
Tonight’s event in Bristol’s Trinity Centre couldn’t be been more anticipated. Flocks of people gather as Shura and her three-piece band step on stage. Right off the bat, the room becomes one huge party as Shura explodes into the disco pop belter that is ‘Nothing’s Real’. Smiles and cheers all round as people start singing and dancing along to songs ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’ and ‘What Happened To Us?’, myself included. Shura takes a moment to welcome the audience on her return to Bristol, despite battling the “Shuflu”, she says. However, her tireless energy, friendly approach and honesty win our hearts as the show continues on in full musical motion.
Guitar rhythms, electronic drums and synths thrive along with Shura’s soaring vocals as she plays more gems from her debut – the pulsating ballad of ‘Kidz ‘n’ Stuff’ serenading the crowd before the smooth transition into glittering pop hit ‘Indecisions’. What stands out in this set, and her music in general is Shura’s sincere lyrics, which are relatable in its vulnerability. No matter the background, we can all relate and feel the stories behind every song, whether on broken relationships (‘Make It Up’), being shy (‘2Shy’) or personal experiences (‘Touch’), all of which are further amplified by Shura’s unique pop sensibilities, bringing her work to life.
The set closes with the powerfully moving ‘White Light’ – a song about being different and proud, and this resonates many emotions. Shura and co going in heavily with their instruments, and as I look around the room, everyone couldn’t be more happier. It was humbling to see such warmth and togetherness at a live show, having this year been one of vast changes and uncertainty. If there was ever a time for reassurance in life, tonight’s performance was certainly it.
Check out the video for ‘White Light’ below.