Despite their of course mainstream appeal and, through that, more notable success to the mass public, generally the originality within the pop scene and its culture is far and few between. Though recent emerging pop princess Rita Ora may not be bursting from the seams with originality, she has offered some rejuvenation into a genre that is often swarmed with carbon copies. With her debut album ‘Ora’ out days before, her first ever headline show at Manchester was set to be one to remember.
Watching opener Little Nikki (**), you’d be forgiven for thinking you were at a fun fair as opposed to a pop concert. The constant fog horns, synthetic laser sounds and a hype man who sounded like an announcer at a fair were all the catalyst of confusion. As a vocalist, Nikki certainly has some strong vocals on her, but a backing track to boot things up a bit somewhat diminished what true talent she may possess.
Sincere (***) however has clearly been on the live circuit a bit longer than the evening’s opener, warming the crowd up nicely. Despite the biggest reactions mainly coming whenever he threw out a few free t-shirts into the crowd, it’s undeniable that ‘Ain’t Nobody Like You’ is a clear future club filler.
It is Rita Ora (****) though that steals the crown at what is her first ever headline show, and signs show that she’ll fledge into the pop world very well. Bringing in a full band instead of relying on backing tracks is a refreshing sign of authenticity. The more rock orientated live morphings give modern dance anthems ‘Hot Right Now’ and ‘RIP’ a bit more beef and a chunky edge. It’s numbers like ‘Hello, Hi, Goodbye’ and ‘Meet Ya’ however that expose the more open and sensitive side of the budding pop starlet, along with her impressive vocal capabilities.
She may have received much attention since the release of hit single ‘RIP’, but truth is that Rita Ora is still a mere infant among her peers. With her debut ‘Ora’ and its promotion to follow – along with shows like tonight – it’s not impossible to vision Rita soon reaching heights like Rihanna. Watch this space.
Written by Zach Redrup