Gig Review: Ronika. The Old Blue Last, EC2

Posted Wednesday 18th April, 2012 by Ryan Watson

After a four-day weekend, there’s nothing you’d rather do on your first day back to work than see out the day and get straight home. But last Tuesday, we’d heard that Ronika was playing a free gig at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, and what’s the next best thing to getting home after a day of catching up on emails and telling people how quickly your Easter flew by? Getting back on the sauce with some live music, of course.

I’d not heard of the blonde female artist before but headed East with an open mind. Met with the initial challenge of ordering drinks from a clearly rookie barmaid once at the venue, we’d soon be upstairs connecting with another lady intent on honing her skills – but this time behind a mic and one we’d actually come to see.

Staying true to her eighties-inspired sound, she entered dressed in florescent colours with a retro edge and as a few warm up acts played out in the famed music room the place began to fill out. A little over the billed time, she finally clambered onto the stage in dark glasses before introducing her band as “Exhibit A, Exhibit B and Exhibit C”.

Having caught the attention of the room, she broke into catchy, feel-good numbers including Automatic, Only Only and In the City, and by the end of her half hour set had worked up a few rows of committed followers who were unashamedly going for it on the dance floor in front of a sea of mobile phones videoing the action.

Admittedly, the backing tracks to her vocals, with hip, funky synths and sounds mean that it’s really quite hard not to take note when Ronika sings her stuff, even if the music isn’t quite your cup of tea.

We ended up stumbling over her music by chance and have to say that it was a welcome accident and an enjoyable evening overall. She’s like a cool mix of Madonna and Gwen Stefani and I’d tip her to keep progressing into the mainstream with her quirky look and sound.

Having been actively playing in East London live scene for a while, she’s currently doing gigs up and down the country. If you haven’t heard of the rising Nottingham-born artist check her stuff out on Soundcloud or at her main site HERE for future dates and information. Maybe wait until the sun comes back out, though.

Ryan Watson is News Reporter for Shots Magazine