Forge Does Tramlines | Kelis @ Ponderosa
A modern day renaissance woman, Kelis is both a popstar and a certified chef, while also having her own brand of fashion accessories. This tendency to be unrestricted by boundaries is noticeable in her musical timeline where she is forever shifting genres. Through her career Kelis has transformed from a pop queen to an R&B star and on to a dancefloor diva.
With her latest album ‘Food’ Kelis has most recently introduced soul and funk to her extensive portfolio. As Sheffield welcomed her to Tramlines everyone in the audience was hoping for a certain phase of Kelis. Although a few fans of the newer material were dotted around, the majority were 90’s babies waiting on ‘Milkshake’ or recognising her as ‘that one from the Calvin Harris song’.
Despite stating she had a cold; vocally Kelis was on point, and although her most recent tracks such as ‘Rumble’ and ‘Jerk Ribs’ didn’t get the crowd going wild, they were polished and performed well. At this point Kelis delved into her dancefloor anthem phase, with tracks such as ‘4th of July’ and ‘Acapella’. These along with ‘Trick Me’ were highlights of the set. They had the crowd pumped while also showing off her vocal talent to a good degree.
It was when the tracks that featured her vocals were played, that it all seemed a bit too easy for Kelis. Fair enough, Calvin Harris’ track ‘Bounce’ was inevitable, but Spaceship by Benny Bennassi. Spaceship; the track (which also features apl.de.ap of Black Eyed Peas, to put you in the picture) seemed like an escape route which let the beat do all the work. The majority of the lyrics in the chorus which Kelis sang, are “I can fly, so get high”.
Milkshake was a crowd pleaser, as it was always going to be. Kelis reworked it a little to have a neo-soul influence, in line with her most recent music. This however, summed up the main problem in Kelis’ Tramlines show. Everything was performed well, and there was lots of energy, but her music career has led to a divided an audience. The majority of the Sheffield crowd rocked up on Saturday night ordering a full-fat, pop milkshake, but left underwhelmed after receiving some healthier equivalent with a flavouring of jazz.
By Will Fisher