Victoria Hesketh aka Little Boots has spent much of, if not all of 2013 going it alone. After severing ties with the once uber-cool 679 Recordings, Hesketh set up her own label On Repeat and (with a little assistance from Kobalt Music) after much delay self-released her second studio album Nocturnes to critical acclaim. That critical acclaim didn’t quite materialise into sales, debuting at number 45 on the official charts but still remains as one of 2013’s best pop records. Rounding off 2013, Little Boots headlined London’s Heaven with a helping hand from up & coming pop duo Avec Sans and illusive DJ & producer Sophie.
(Photo Credit: Breaking More Waves)
It was an early start for openers Avec Sans, consisting of singer/songwriter Alice Fox & producer Jack St. James, which was a bit of a shame as I would have liked to have seen a lot more people enjoy the brilliant music this duo has to offer. Songs such as The Answer and new single Shiver sound wonderful in a live environment and don’t stray too far from the original studio versions, which is nice. I’m anticipating 2014 to feature a lot more from Avec Sans and if their early material is anything to go by, I’ll be sure to enjoy it. It’s still very early days for this exciting electro pop duo but I have a feeling they’ll be headlining their own show at Heaven in the not too distant future.
Arriving promptly on stage at 8.45, Little Boots strolled on stage with her specially extended band and backing singers for a rousing performance of Nocturnes opener Motorway. With her hair tied up and dressed in all black, she looked every part the evolved artist proving that not only has her sound progressed, her look has too. It’s a subtle change, but it’s one that she (probably) needed. Much of the set of the night included songs from the Nocturnes album, but Hesketh hasn’t forgotten where she came from. Songs from her debut Hands such as New In Town, Stuck on Repeat and the still incredible Earthquake still sound brilliant some four years later.
For her encore, Little Boots arrived back on stage dressed in what appeared to be a white dress for the only ballad of the night All for You, one of the highlights of the Nocturnes album. For the final song floor filler Shake, the dress turned into an LED illuminated jacket, spelling out Shake at times and brightening up the stage like Blackpool Pier.
It's been four years since Little Boots was catapulted into the limelight. A previous BBC Sound of winner (beating competition from Lady Gaga and Florence + The Machine) Hesketh, in comparison has never really gained the success that Sound of winners would usually enjoy. However, she’s developed her own following that are supporting her in her new independent venture to the max. She’s very much a 21st Century artist creating her own lanes and doing things the way she wants. It’s a shame Nocturnes didn’t get the commercial recognition it deserved but it could be one of those records that stands the tests of time. In recent months, Hesketh has been working on her record label and DJing all over the world, so she’s not short of alternative jobs! But I, for one am certainly looking forward to more Little Boots music.
Little Boots’ album Nocturnes is available now on iTunes. Avec Sans’ latest single Shiver and other music is available to download from their official Facebook page.
WORDS: Courtney Buck [@BuckTheWorld_]
IMAGES (unless otherwise stated): Abi Dainton [http://abidainton.com/]