On this evidence Hertfordshire’s 26-year-old Ellie Goulding is the definition of the modern pop star, a practiced performer whose general air of likeability is based upon a well-worked combination of furrowed-brow balladeering, studiedly informal indie styling and crunching synthesiser epics built for the dancefloor.
Ellie Goulding - Usher Hall, Edinburgh
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It’s meant to be all things to all people of her age and under, and if it largely succeeds its not for want of witnessing the machinery of a certain degree of contrivance at work
Yet Goulding carries the show for the most part because she has warmth and charisma, and a sharp and well-practiced voice which cuts through everything else.
Dressed in silver-sequinned hotpants and a cropped white top, she looked bright and natural rather than try-hard in revealing her skin, and the music followed suit in combining frankness and modesty.
This was evident from the solo piano balladry of I Know You Care (“about my dad”) to the taut and downbeat exorcism of a former lover in My Blood and finally the clubby and ever-charming pop thrill of Lights at the finale of the main set.
The show went through a lengthy sine wave of tones and styles through its 90 minutes, commencing with the bright pop of the rousing Starry Eyed and others, through an acoustic sement which featured a cover of Elton John’s Your Song (the song she played at William and Kate’s wedding) and steadily up through a sequence of powerful ballads before alighting on the commercial clubby likes of I Need Your Love and recent number one Burn.
“I’m talking so much tonight,” reflected the polite Goulding at one point, “I think it’s because I feel comfortable.” She and her audience both.