Most people have heard of Fiona Bevan because of the song ‘Little Things’ which she co-wrote with Ed Sheeran and that One Direction took to the top of the charts. But at the Underbelly in Hoxton, Fiona’s launching her debut album. The songs are hers and they’re pretty damn great.
It seems like Fiona Bevan has won the audience even before coming on stage. For about an hour, she plays most songs from her album and thanks us repeatedly for being here. “It already feels like the best night ever”, she smiles.
Most songs draw huge cheers from the audience, and many already know the words to them. Songs like ‘Rebel Without A Cause’, ‘The Machine’ and the title song ‘Talk To Strangers’ are particular highlights. Fiona’s voice is irresistible, soft and fragile.
Before doing her own solo set, Fiona sings two songs with one of her harmony singers, Gwyneth Herbert. Fiona’s voice is so high and childish, she sometimes is overpowered by Gwyneth’s. But when she’s on her own she can really shine. There is a strong jazz sensibility in her voice, at times reminding me of Billie Holiday.
After being encouraged to do one last song, Fiona sings the duet ‘Home’ with another of her backing singers, Adam Glover. His voice is the exact opposite of hers. It’s incredibly deep and low, and brings a nice contrast which highlights even better Fiona’s voice. If you close your eyes, you can actually hear her smiling.
Fiona Bevan is a wonderful talent and judging by the reception her set got last night, it won’t take much longer before she really breaks through. Her songs have the immediacy of the best pop tunes and enough character to ensure they’re not just a passing fad. Add to that a voice somewhere between Billie Holiday and Kate Bush, and you’ve got the recipe for success.
Talk To Strangers is out now. Get it from ProperMusic, Amazon, iTunes or HMV.