Belgian songstress took to the Rockhal stage on Monday night as part of her short European tour.
Having bust onto the top of the charts in 2015 with her single “Easy Come Easy Go”, Alice Dutoit better known as Alice On The Roof announced her arrival onto an already bustling Belgian music scene which boasts such acts as Selah Sue and Oscar & The Wolf, who Alice shares some similarities.
With her debut album “Higher” also hitting the top spot earlier this year Alice is finishing off the year with a short tour which included Rockhal last night before going back into the studio after Christmas to begin work on the follow up.
Flanked by her four-piece band, Alice launched into “Like A Dying Rose” with its flashes of electro pop colouring the room with a warming glow as the snappy beat got the feet shuffling in the audience.
Her distinct breathy but very clear vocals came to the fore on “Monopoly Loser” as the shimmering electro-pop swept the crowd up in atmospheric walls of synth bliss. It’s these vocals that propel her sound and also draw comparisons to her compatriot Max Colombie from Oscar & The Wolf whose delivery is similar, so it was not too surprising she covered their song “Princes” on her debut EP and played it last night too, fitting into the set seamlessly.
Whilst most of the night was driven by pulsating electro pop rhythms there were moments of introspective solitude as Alice took to the keyboard for the intimate “On The Roof” before being joined by a subtle violin just hovering behind which added an extra layer to the track.
They also took to the funk infused “Feel Tonight” which brought an element of 80s shoulder pad pop which then ran into Abba’s “Dancing Queen” where Alice donned a pair of big bug eyed sunglasses, glamming it up for a moment whilst still managing to put their own stamp on such a well-known song.
With a new record in the pipeline the audience were treated to “On My Own” a new song which she has been testing out on crowds on this tour and I imagine she’ll be happy with the reception it received with the audience clapping and dancing along.
For her fans who are looking for much of the same they won’t be disappointed as it drew from all the same aspects as her previous work. Although it might not convert the undecided as the structure didn’t vary much throughout and whilst there are some really interesting elements to many of the tracks there is very little distinction between each song.
The one moment they really let loose was on “Mystery Light” where they finished in a percussive explosion taking the track to a new level live and providing the highlight of the set.
Whilst Alice seems to channel the likes of Kate Bush and more recently Lorde, it will be good to see her be as bold as those acts on her new record and push the boundaries on a few tracks changing up the structures and preventing her from becoming too formulaic. If that is addressed, then there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful for the new record and that Alice On The Roof can continue to fly the flag for this new wave of Belgian electro-pop.
Rockhal – 5.12.16