That Georgia has become one of breakout acts of the year about half a decade after she intended to is a strange but wonderful thing. Even more impressive is the fact that at a tonight’s sold-out London show, it feels like she’s about to become a very big deal indeed.
After years of performing as a session drummer for the likes of Kate Tempest, Georgia’s 2015 debut album emerged as a promising if slightly undefined prospect that dipped its toe into many genres without committing head-first to any. Yet over the past year, this lack of definition has all but disappeared. There’s been ‘About Work The Dancefloor’, her Robyn-esque contender for the finest pop song of the year, a career-defining Glastonbury set, news of a second album ‘Seeking Thrills’ for 2020 and now this awe-inspiring Scala takeover.
It all feels more like a club night than a traditional gig, and across Georgia’s hour-long set, songs are manipulated, lengthened and beefed up to find a home on the rowdiest part of the floor. ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ – a song that which places Georgia as an artist who can hold hands with the mainstream pop world and hedonistic clubbers with equal assuredness – and ‘Started Out’ close the main set in a thrilling one-two. They’ve become deserved anthems, and in the superbly catchy ’24 Hours’ and dreamy, pulsating ‘The Thrill’, there’s plenty more left to emerge from ‘Seeking Thrills’ that could rival the existing singles in the gargantuan pop stakes.
During the set, when mid-song breaks allow it, Georgia emerges from behind her drum kit to become her own cheerleader, raving along before she has to pummel the kit again like a boxer. It makes tonight – as well as serving as the start of something special for Georgia – feel like a celebration of dance music and pop music at large. When the set ends with a shiny, bass-heavy cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’, Georgia feels as much a member of the party as the performer – without her drum kit as an obstacle, it’s easy to imagine her throwing herself about in the mix with everyone else.
A pop star without the traditional sheen and pomp but possessing bucketloads of energy, passion and – vitally – very, very good songs, tonight feels like a victory for everyone in attendance, not just the lone figure on stage, such is the community spirit fostered in her music and at her gigs.
“This is just the beginning,” she states with a smile as she departs, as if it wasn’t abundantly clear.