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Eliza Doolittle Comes Home

Eliza Doolittle at The Drake Underground
Eliza Doolittle
Drake Underground in Toronto, ON
February 7, 2011

Review by: Lucas Samuels
Photos by: Greg Abramowitz

On Monday night at the Drake Underground, I had the real pleasure of checking out the UK’s latest pop export, Eliza Doolittle.

Beyond cute and with a serious set of pipes to boot, I knew Eliza was doing something right even before I saw her live. A quick Google search of "Eliza Doolittle" brought the 22-year-old pop starlet to my attention well before any results for the film My Fair Lady popped up. Already garnering a huge amount of buzz in the UK for her certified platinum record release, Eliza was ready to show Toronto what all the fuss is about.

Opening the evening with "Missing", Eliza made no attempt to hide her adorable pop style. Her band, which was sharply dressed in barbershop-era garb, provided some doo-wop vocal harmonies before Eliza's distinct and jazzy voice was smartly layered on top. I say her voice is distinct because there are very few UK singers who let their accents shine through. Eliza is one of them.  Prancing around playfully on stage in her orange high-top Nikes, and a pair of high-waisted pink shorts, her style screams "Brit" in that unique and funky way. A refreshing change from the scantly clad pop stars in the media today for sure.

"Moneybox" featured some excellent electric drum sampling that reminded me of Pink Floyd's change-filled intro for "Money" and the witty wordplay of "Skinny Genes" had Eliza smiling big as her bass player spun his double bass around with skill. Midway through the set, Eliza took a minute to chat to the attentive crowd, letting us know that she's actually a Canadian citizen, even though it was her first time in Toronto. This little bit of banter was likely the reason for a Spanish-tinged, grown-up version of Justin Bieber's "Baby" later on in the set.  Closing strong with her current single, "Pack Up", Eliza hopped off stage and was quick to greet fans and sign CDs. This young Brit has got personality, a voice that's no joke, and real songwriting talent (she co-writes all her songs). Eliza Doolittle has the musical recipe that is sure to win over North American fans, and it's safe to say she'll be doing so very, very soon.

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