Lu’Ami – The Better Project Launch Party [Live Review – St. George’s Church, Brighton, 23/4/2016]

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Brighton is one of Britain’s most open-minded cities – and last night, experimental electronic musician Lu’Ami’s “Better Project” launch party demonstrated that fact in singular style. Hosting and promoting a range of alternative-almost-everything artists, businesses, and organisations including Kalula Jewellery, Sisi Holistic Beauty, Brighton Girl, Harper & Finch, and the Brighton Permaculture Trust looked from the outside like a logistical nightmare. On the night, though, it all seemed to run smoothly.

Aside from launching a new brand called, appropriately, The Better Project, last night’s event also incorporated a sustainable fashion show and EP launch for Lu’Ami’s latest four-track release, Better. Before the music began, sustainable media entrepreneur Jarvis Smith took to the grass-lined catwalk to deliver a short speech, the core message of which involved thinking about what you buy, thinking about where you spend your money, thinking about who made it, and seeing whether or not there happen to be healthier and more environmentally friendly alternatives. Sensible yet all too often ignored stuff.

Defining warmup act Rusalka’s music is a tough ask. The “New Age” label is far too simplistic and dismissive to describe what Rusalka does, although I’d imagine a fair few listeners would apply it and leave it be. Rusalka’s vocal is incredible, taking in direct tones and supple gymnastics while the keyboard-driven music itself remains as minimalist as necessary. Add in a hint of Björk to the general vibe, and you have an artist who deserves to hit a new level ASAP.

Lu’Ami had been planning this night for seven months – and during her set, all of that preparation paid off.

Onstage, Lu’Ami transforms into a compellingly confident character – and she’s also capable of pulling off studio-grade performances in a live environment, something any up-and-coming musician would envy. Opening with a pair of covers (Johnny Cash’s God’s Gonna Cut You Down and Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You) before using live renditions of each of the songs on the Better EP to soundtrack four separate fashion designers’ showcases, Lu’Ami’s set was like nothing I’ve ever seen – and you’re talking a lot of events. Last night, the song-designer pairs were: Precious Love and Gung Ho; Rise and Rhiannon Hunt; Loveliness and Mimzi; and Better and Amy Ward.

On that note, click here for a full review of the Better EP. The words in that post will accurately translate the bulk of Lu’Ami’s set; again, she’s capable of nailing it all live, which is an amazing achievement.

Overall: The Better Project was based around the concept of growth – and it definitely grew into something greater than the sum of its parts.

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Click here for a full interview with Lu’Ami prior to the launch of The Better Project, and click here for a full review of the Better EP.

Posted on 24 April 2016

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