Shepherd’s Bush Empire is my favourite style of a venue. It’s small and really pretty, and I looked forward to not only all my favourite songs but also Mika chatting in English between the songs. This first gig of the tour offered everything I could possibly hope for and more and the night was very special.
The show was totally focused on Mika and the performance was spoiling on every level. The singing was absolutely beautiful and the setlist generous and included some lovely surprises like Platform Ballerinas as a totally new song and Ronke’s appearance in the middle of Tiny Love. I must have screamed a bit when she came on stage, it was such an amazing surprise. I wasn’t expecting seeing her and I love her on the official video. The atmosphere on the film is somehow so intimate, close and beautiful and I could sense all that on stage as well and really loved that moment at Shepherd’s Bush and the whole Tiny Love performance.
Platform Ballerinas worked live as well as I had thought in advance, maybe even better. Generally, it’s hard if not impossible to choose clear favourites of the new songs at gigs. I wouldn’t give up any of them to make space for songs we haven’t heard yet, I would rather skip one or two of the old songs. All of them deserve to be on the setlist, every new song works well in their own way. I have more favourites on My Name Is Michael Holbrook than on any of the older albums and the live performances are getting only better gig after gig.
Mika came on stage in an elegant, fitted suit and a super adorable dotted ruffle shirt and got a warm welcome. The venue was smallish so naturally the crowd was smallish but the show was sold out and the audience was as loving as it can be. He had his family, he had UK locals who had patiently waited for this gig for years and he had people from all over the world, everyone in London just for him. He looked happy. It was a heart-warming night.