“I was going to say something but I’m a bit speechless,” Griff tells the crowd at North London venue Lafayette. “So let’s keep doing the music!”
It’s an honest reaction to what must be an overwhelming experience: it’s one of Griff’s first ever headline shows since the pandemic curtailed live music, and the audience have just belted back every word to the jubilant ‘One Foot in Front of the Other’. Arriving after a handful of festival gigs – plus a couple of high-profile slots on Strictly Come Dancing and at the Team GB Homecoming Concert – tonight sees the 20-year-old singer-songwriter-producer topping the bill in front of room of fans.
Griff’s performing an intimate show at Lafayette as part of War Child UK’s Day Of The Girl, with her 10-song headline set closing the evening’s line-up (also featuring rising singer-songwriter Olivia Dean, DYLAN, and BEKA). Later this month, she’ll embark on a short string of UK tour dates, including a sold-out night at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Given the reception at Lafayette, it seems unlikely she’ll be playing another show this cosy any time soon.
“I’m feeling ever so slightly under the weather, so you’re going to have to help me,” she reveals to the crowd, a request that is taken very literally onboard. Opening with ‘Heart of Gold’ and ‘Walk’, she showcases the songs from June’s five-star EP ‘One Foot in Front of the Other‘. This project was a coup – not only are the songs tight, glorious nuggets of pop, she also wrote and produced them almost entirely on her own, with only a handful of collaborators credited on the extended play.
Tonight, Griff demonstrates that she isn’t just a whizz at writing the tunes, though – she’s also a formidable performer. Backed by a band of two, she dances across the stage, her trademark bubble ponytail floating behind her as she breezily charms the crowd. This live show is a slick operation: effervescent Honne collaboration ‘1,000,000 X Better’ is brilliantly bouncy, slow moment ‘Good Stuff’ puts the focus on Griff’s emotive vocals, and ‘Shade of Yellow’ sees the stage lit up by matching lights.
It’s set-closer ‘Black Hole’ that garners the biggest response. Earlier this year, Griff played it at the Brit Awards in a conquering performance that has since been watched almost two million times on YouTube. “Everyone take a deep breath, as I want everyone to be all in” she warns before it begins. It’s a powerhouse moment – the song’s distinctive earworm refrains and trickling synth licks accompanied by fan’s bellowed vocals. It’s a response that Griff ought to get used to; her crowds are only going to grow from here.
‘Heart of Gold’
‘1,000,000 X Better’
‘One Foot in Front of the Other’
‘Shade of Yellow’
‘Remembering My Dreams’