YADi live at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen (21 March '12) // Words + Photo: Saam Das
I'd written about female solo artist(e) extraordinaire YADi late last year and hence snapped up the opportunity to go see her at the Gold Dust clubnight in Hoxton. Even though it was in Hoxton. Gold Dust prides itself on unearthing new gems, much like we do here, and our mutual interest in YADi proved worthwhile.
Taking to the stage in a revealing outfit, seemingly missing its bottom half, Hannah Yadi initially came across as something of a mix between Natalie Portman in 'Black Swan' and Lady Gaga. No mean feat. Flanked by a drummer and a multi-instrumentalist, they launched into an impressively punchy set, only dampened by slight technical difficulties.
This was a performance that signalled YADi's readiness for bigger stages. Not that it quite managed to stop many people beside me talking through her entire set - although I am fairly sure one or more of the 'Made In Chelsea' bunch were in attendance and actually less unsavoury than much of the rest of the audience. Nonetheless, I still revelled in the array of exciting pop songs on offer.
First and foremost, YADi's vocals lived up to their recorded counterparts, perhaps even superceding the latter. Similarly, some beastly drumming was present - from a drummer who part resembled Ben Folds and Esser (who used to drum in Ladyfuzz, in fact). Along with the third muskeeter, who mainly looked after the electronica elements, YADi rampaged through the likes of melodramatic pop hits 'Sahara Heart', 'Gold' and 'Guillotine'.
Not satisfied with the pomp of those tracks, other tracks took a different tack - from 'The Blow' with its Enya vs ska vs The Police vibe (I may have imagined this....) to forthcoming EP number 'Paper Rose' with a more traditional, ballad-esque opening. YADi can do it all. And she can do it live. 2012 could be YADi's breakthrough year. We certainly hope so.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Sahara Heart by YADi
The debut EP, 'Guillotine' is scheduled for release on 9 April. Find more on YADi at facebook.com/yadi.