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Gig Review: BEKA at Rough Trade

28 October 21 words: Katie Lyle

Nottingham born Singer-Songwriter BEKA took to the stage at Rough Trade for her first headline tour amidst a series of incredibly successful releases to provide audiences with a night of eighties nostalgia and emotive pop… 

A singer-songwriter on the rise, with a string of incredible indie-pop success under her wing already, BEKA is still at such an early stage within her musical career for everything she has already accomplished. Collaborating with pop duo HONNE on their ever successful Crying Over You and Location Unknown, and an extremely exciting debut of her solo material to follow, featuring sounds and lyricism instantly recognisable to her vibrant personality, she has certainly made an exciting entrance. 

BEKA arrived to perform her first ever headline gig, a sold out show here in her hometown of Notts, at the wonderfully intimate location of Rough Trade and hosted by DHP. A high anticipation could be felt throughout the venue as audience members knew this was going to be a special evening. Support came from Maryon who offered a stunning vocal performance with sweet but fierce, stripped back pop. A perfect warm up for BEKA’s melodic and atmospheric arrival to the stage. 

Bringing it back to her roots, BEKA performed an acoustic version of her collaboration with Honne, Location Unknown. A silence could be felt throughout the venue, this version of the song being heartfelt and raw. A number of songs from her Debut EP were also featured, as well as an upcoming unheard release, and her performance of I’ll Be There was anthemic, proving to be unforgettable to many. 

Instrumentation throughout the gig was dreamy, atmospheric and reminiscent of a teen rom com as BEKA explained relatable meanings behind each song within the interludes and all her songs were thought provoking lyrically. BEKA’s airy and bright presence could be felt throughout the venue, and her incredible vocals radiated a soulful optimism, with clear influences from Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and Lauryn Hill shining through. 

It was truly magical to be able to attend the first headline show for BEKA with what I expect to be an incredibly successful career amidst everything she has achieved so far. I can’t wait to see what's next for the rising star. 

BEKA performed live at Rough Trade Nottingham on Wednesday 27 November 2021. You can listen to her debut EP I’ll Be There here

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