With performances from the biggest names in music over the last 12 months, the fifth annual Streets Of London fundraising concert - organised and headlined by Ellie Goulding - provided a snapshot of the year in pop while raising thousands of pounds for a great cause.
Since 2014, the concerts have raised more than £300,000 for the charity which helps homeless people in the capital. As an ambassador her support began with a multi- artist show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in December 2014, followed by a concert at the Camden Roundhouse in 2015 and then events at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016 and 2017.
For 2018, however, Ellie curated Streets of London’s biggest and best show to date... inviting fellow musicians and friends to take over the Wembley SSE Arena for one night only.
One of the biggest draws on the line-up was undoubtedly Dua Lipa. Having played 250 shows in 2018 and taken the title of most streamed U.K. female artist ever, she’s pretty much unstoppable - and it’s not hard to see why.
“It means a lot to us that you’ve come tonight and together we can make a change,” she said humbly before storming through chart bangers ‘One Kiss’ (a collaboration with Calvin Harris), ‘Electricity’ (teaming up with Silk City aka Diplo and Mark Ronson) and solo fan favourites ‘IDGAF’ and ‘New Rules’: Despite performing just four songs, she claimed the ‘queen of pop’ crown.
Another group who were virtually inescapable over the last 12 months, Clean Bandit capped off a massive year with sing-alongs of their radio-dominating hits ‘Symphony’, ‘Rockabye’ and their breakthrough chart smash ‘Rather Be’.
It wasn’t all pyrotechnics and spectacle, though, as a handful of artists gave intimate acoustic performances: Bastille’s round-the-piano rendition of ‘Happier’ delivered a poignant message while ‘Pompeii’ saw the room lit up with a sea of phone lights, Scandi popstar-in-waiting Sigrid captivated the audience with her distinctive voice and honest storytelling, singing intimate versions of her empowering hits ‘Sucker Punch’ and ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’.
Offering a similarly emotive appearance, Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander - sporting a grey sparkly suit and trousers that made him look like a spaceman - played the piano for ‘Desire’, ‘If You’re Over Me’ and a heartfelt cover of ‘Time After Time’ whose lyrics felt especially poignant considering the reason behind the concert. “We don’t usually do songs like this, to so many people,” Olly considered after thanking the charity and Ellie for having him.
It was also a night for showcasing some newer, rising talents who we’ll be hearing a whole lot more of in 2019: Dermot Kennedy’s piano-led rendition of ‘Power Over Me’ provided a striking opening to the concert, Mabel ignited a summer throwback with ‘Fine Line’ and ‘My Lover’, Not3s upped the energy from atop a piano running through earworm grooves ‘My Lover’, and ‘Addison Lee’, and Grace Carter’s powerful vocal on ‘Silence’ and ‘Why Her Not Me?’ marked her out as one of the UK’s finest voices…
Equally impressive was headliner Ellie whose arena-ready chart hits came in full force. Bounding across the stage in metallic red trousers and whipping her hair around, ‘Close To Me’ and ‘Outside’ worked brilliantly and there was even time for a Christmas cover of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’.
“I feel so grateful and proud to have all the artists on the line-up join me,” Ellie said, looking genuinely moved by what she and the Streets of London charity have achieved. “It’s something that’s close to my heart and that we’ve now come to Wembley… It’s incredible!”
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Words: Ben Jolley
Photography: Andrew Timms
For more information about Streets of London visit www.streetsoflondon.org.uk
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