Perfectly intimate, The Liquid Room was a brilliant venue choice for Future Hits Live, a venture by The Hits Radio, on Friday 11 November 2011. Bringing together five largely different pop acts – Nina Nesbitt, Cover Drive, Encore, Rizzle Kicks and Pixie Lott (pictured) – the crowd’s reception throughout the night confirmed that this was a fantastic line-up that was brimming with talent.
Kicking the night off was Edinburgh’s very own Nina Nesbitt, a stunning musician who went to Balerno High School before starting what promises to be a bright journey in the music industry. Nesbitt has had a brilliant year, supporting Ed Sheeran and Example, and has gradually increased her status by performing covers and uploading them on YouTube. She said:- “The best part of the experience is getting my music out there. I really enjoyed the night and it’s great to perform in Edinburgh.”
Next up was Barbados-based Cover Drive who hit the charts earlier in the year with ‘Lick Ya Down‘, an upbeat Summer track with hints of Rihanna, which the audience seemed to know and love. They added a Carribbean vibe that really warmed up the night and it is probable that we shall be seeing much more of the foursome soon.
Encore were the middle act of the night. The Hits Radio presenter Chris Younie, who hosted the night, quoted Dappy from N-Dubz who said that these three were “the real Wanted and the real JLS”, which only the future success of the band will confirm. Slick and energetic, they got all the girls screaming with the tracks they performed.
Fourth up were Rizzle Kicks (pictured below) who exploded onto the stage with ‘Prophet (Better Watch It)’, an absorbing song and a great way to open their set. The energy from the duo, consisting of Jordan ‘Rizzle’ Stephens and Harley ‘Sylvester’ Alexander-Sule was inspiring, and they ramped up the atmosphere from the moment they came on stage. After ‘When I was a Youngster’ and ‘Mama do the Hump’ from their album Stereo Typical, the final song could only be their Summer smash ‘Down with the Trumpets’. It’s certain that the combination of confidently clever lyrics with a fresh, different approach to the current chart scene will get them far. The exuberant ‘hip-pop’ pair are a brilliant match and it was fantastic to see them live.
Finally, headliner Pixie Lott took centre stage. Oozing confidence throughout her set, she really was on top form and it looked like she felt each song. She began with her first number-one hit ‘Mama Do’, and sang a cover of The Tams 1970s hit ‘Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy’, which is the title of her new album. She intricately blended the cover with Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ before performing two new songs, including current chart hit ‘All About Tonight’.
In ‘All About Tonight’ Pixie sings “…the night is alive you can feel the heartbeat”. The night of Future Hits Live was most definitely alive and the passion of all of the acts was tangible. It should be interesting to see what the next twelve months hold for each of them but it is clear from the taster delivered on the night that they will be successful in achieving larger audiences at their own individual gigs.