Eliza Doolittle burst onto the scene in 2010 with an eponymous debut album charting at number 3. But Eliza has always been around music. Her Grandmother being the founder of the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School, and as a child having a part in the west-end production of 'Les Misérables'. But Eliza has paid her dues by gigging/touring wherever she could before she got signed.
Tonight Eliza is Gary Barlow's special guest on his UK tour, which could be a challenge playing to an audience that's not your own. By the time Eliza hits the stage at 7.30, the arena is almost full. Flirtatious, with a knowing wink, Eliza instantly commands the arena endearing herself to the crowd. With her name in 15 foot thick red letters either side of the stage, there is no mistaking who's opening the show tonight. The set has an almost effortless flow, drawing you in with its breezy laid back vibe.
Elizas breakthrough Top 5 hit 'Pack Up' is greeted with a roar and playfully dispatched. Eliza has a very unique quality. With so many inter-changeable female signers out there; its refreshing to see someone as unaffected yet hip, not conform to stereotype. But it's the new album 'In Your Hands' with its diversity highlights another side to her music. Of course there is no denying the sheer pop brilliance of 'Big When I Was Little' as Eliza teases out this reggae tinged gem. Her collaboration with Disclosure 'You and Me' marking her out as someone not ready to rest on her laurels. However it's the last song of this brief 30 minute set, a soaring 'Let It Rain' that sees Eliza confidently entering new territory. This is a big song with lush arrangements and arguably Elizas finest vocal of the night.
The only negative this evening (which is outside of her control) was the fact it was an all seated show. Eliza's music is best heard on your feet, where you are free to bask in the sunshine of her infectious grooves.
Surprisingly, this was Eliza's first visit to the Welsh capital. Judging by the reaction, I'm betting it won't be her last.