Surrounded by an audience visibly glowing and grinning in La Havas’ presence, it was hard not to be infected by the positive energy. Looking around many are singing along word for word, indicating than her fan base are not just gentle admirers but truly adore La Havas and her performance at the O2. And to be fair, she makes it incredibly easy to enjoy. She is gracious and seems genuinely impressed and excited by the size and enthusiasm of the crowd, winning our favour without conceit. Her songs range from cute to classy but are always injected with soul, giving off the kind of serene, wordly vibes one would primarily associate with Erykah Badu. A sprawling vase of Bird-of-Paradise flowers decorating the back of the stage seemed a fitting metaphor for La Havas’ elegant, enigmatic and exotic demeanour.
Often described as ‘mannered’ her music is mature and tasteful but by no means cookie cutter perfect. Rather, she gives a polished performance that is made valid by the sheer power of her voice, which is all honey and gravel; husky but capable of several effortless octaves. She announces proudly the arrival of her second album Blood, which most of her set is taken from. The older tracks she plays also get a warm reception, revealing that many have been long-time fans, with one of her songs mixed effortlessly into a slinky, and much less annoying version of Pharrel Williams’ ‘Happy’. La Havas was certainly happy, grinning her stunning toothy grin, and this proved contagious.