Walking into Eliza Doolittle’s showcase at the Drake Underground on Monday night was kind of like walking into a 10 year-old girl’s birthday party… balloons covering the floor, free stacks of CDs on every table, and little containers of popcorn and candy to munch on.
The cuteness didn’t stop there! Enter Miss Doolittle in high-waisted frilly pink shorts, belly top, and Nike high-tops alongside her band of old-timey looking boys sporting matching bow ties and striped dress shirts. Already receiving plenty of buzz in her native UK for her self-titled debut album (which has gone certified platinum), Eliza’s visit to Toronto was a chance to introduce the 22 year-old to a North American audience.
She says hello and tells us how this is her first visit to Toronto and a homecoming of sorts since her dad was born in Montreal, before opening the show with “Missing.” Reading up about her before the show, I found plenty of comparisons to other Brits like Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse but seeing Eliza live revealed an incredibly refreshing singer.
A catchy mix of jazz and pop, Eliza’s music is as playful as her image and has warm weather written all over it; invoking fantasies of picnicking in the park and lounging by the pool in the most colourful clothing possible (you can understand how upset I was after exiting the Drake to blowing snow and frigid temperatures). I’m predicting at least one of her songs will become a summer anthem this year.
Eliza performed the rest of her album and even treated us to her own rendition of “Baby” by Justin Bieber. “Do you guys have to like him, because he’s from here?” she asked, giggling along with the audience. She ended the set with her current single “Pack Up” and then ventured into the crowd to chat and sign autographs.
~ Caitlyn Holroyd
~ Photos also by Caitlyn Holroyd