Discovery 2 has recently changed venues to AAA under Archangel in High Street Kensington. A good move, as the intimate residency deserves the kind of communality this venue can provide. On a cold night in February, the people packed in to catch Eliza Shaddad, Toodar and last, but not least, Coda.
Eliza is like Lily Allen, but with more class and better lyrics (and much curlier hair!). Her soft Celtic looks matched the affable charm she displayed on stage, interacting and laughing with the audience. Nothing she did on stage was new or distinct from what had come before her, but then part of being an emerging artist is stealing other people's styles until you find one of your own.
No, Eliza was nothing new, but she was passionate, unpretentious and above all else, honest. All of which counts for a lot in a business made up of phoneys and bad photocopies of bad photocopies. She brings to mind what Norah Jones might have been like if she weren't so whiny.
Moving on to Toodar, 'Ten Paces' was their most interesting track of the night as the d&b beats added an ethereal edge to their wispy, hipster vocals that would otherwise have fallen flat. Frankly, there was nothing to mark Toodar out from the crowd, they were formulaic and bland. Sadly though, they could do quite well because, whilst there's nothing great about them, there's nothing immediately offensive about them either. They're background music which is more annoying than if they were capable of producing a truly visceral reaction.
Finally, Coda promised much and delivered…well, quite a bit actually. Coda's concept is an interesting one, live dubstep. The idea is fantastic but needs a little fine tuning. The use of trombone and drum kit worked nicely, but as for the guitar, well what guitar? It faded into the background so much that it might as well not have been there.
Still relying too heavily on their Macs, if Coda really want to call themselves LIVE dubstep then that's where they're going to have to put the emphasis. One of the highlights of the night was their dubstep reworking of Prodigy's 'Firestarter'. It not only evoked fond memories, but also brought something new and refreshing to the 90s classic.