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Live review

Banks 

Shoreditch Hall, London

added: 24 Mar 2014 // gig date: 21 Mar 2014
reviewer: Alisha Patel

Banks - Shoreditch Hall, London - Printable version
Following her success last year on tour with The Weeknd, and debut show at Shoreditch Hall, London (which sold out within minutes), Jillian Banks originally from LA is currently storming the UK presenting her 2 EPs, Fall Over and London. With no released album, the mystery that was Banks is slowly being revealed as her fans follow her on this anticipating journey.

Before releasing her London EP, Banks was almost a complete mystery to her somewhat small fan base, without even the knowledge of her actual name. Last year touring with The Weeknd was almost a perfect duo performing together, with the same grungy sound, raw emotions of loss and abuse filling the atmosphere of the venue. Mirroring each other’s style in music, Banks gained a wider fan base with her mystery still behind her. Making her way into 3rd place on the BBC Sound of 2014 list, Banks has started her official UK tour and now has fans of all ages and sizes filling small venues with intimate shows.

As Éclair Fifi finished her set, the tiny venue was full and overflowing within minutes. Excited murmurs filled the room as mellow tones and the harsh raw base kicked in, leaving the crowd speechless as Before I Ever Met You began playing. Banks’ slow snake-like movements against her mesmerising voice sent the audience wild; The Weeknd fans screaming as though they were in a full blown arena.

Opening with some of the most popular ballads Before I Ever Met You, This Is What It Feels Like, Change, and Brain, she left her introduction to a short pause before revealing a brand new song: “This next song’s called Goddess cause every woman’s a f*cking goddess!”. Delving straight in to join her two piece band on stage left the audience in complete awe; her silhouette soon appeared against bright lights and flashes of deep blue and purple filled the room.

Pausing to introduce herself, the fragility of her soft sweet voice completely contrasts with the grungy groan of her music. With short but sweet introductions to each song, Banks points out to individuals, keeping the strong sense of intimacy: “Music was my only way to feel empowered through all of my weaknesses”. She performs an intimate acoustic version of Warm Water and rendition of Aaliyah’s Are You That Somebody before revealing yet another unreleased track called Stick. Leaving everyone wanting more, the lights flashed on and she appeared once again to do an encore of What You Need (originally by The Weeknd) sending The Weeknd fans into absolute bliss!

Referring to her past within shows, Jillian takes pride in connecting with her fan base on a personal level, hence having her own phone number on FaceBook. The dark and mellow tones of her music represent the story of her parents early break-up (when she was only 14) which resulted in her writing music. Working with UK producers Jamie Woon, Lil Silva, Sohn and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Banks has already made an enormous impact on people around the US and UK without even having released an album! Being on the BBC Sound of 2014 list, and having featured in the Radio1 Live Lounge, Banks is being talked about almost everywhere as we eagerly await the release of her debut album.

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4 stars

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