Laura Mvula has been gathering acclaim since her debut, nominated for an Ivor Novello, three BRIT awards and the Mercury Prize. If you don't know who she is, the chances are you already know a couple of her songs. Prince apparently was playing her record before going on stage during the Hit and Run shows earlier this year and he invited her to open up for him at the second night he did at the Birmingham LG Arena.
This show was part of the Late Night series of the BBC Proms, which are largely classical music with the late night slots picked up by "contemporary" artists doing something a bit different to fit in with the Proms. In this case, Laura teamed up with the Metrepole Orkest and composer Jules Buckley.
Laura's music already had orchestral leanings, being classically trained her first album uses real instruments but in a somewhat sparse arrangement. Laura has said that working with this 80 piece orchestra "brings these songs to their full potential". The sound of the orchestra swelling on these tracks was just incredible - and Laura was the picture of composure - with moments, incredible moments of abandon like on the traditional See-Line Woman which followed an incredible version of one of her best known songs, Green Garden.
It was a real treat as well to have a surprise guest, Esperanza Spalding - also someone that Prince has championed in recent years. Her vocals and playing were incredible and the chemistry between the two singers was something to behold.
Here's some video from the night. See the link below to listen to audio of the gig here if you are in the UK
Green Garden + See-Line Woman (traditional) - this is incredible!!
Encore - Human Nature + Make Me Lovely
Listen to audio of the full show here
Laura has released a studio version of her album performed with the Metropole Orkest which you can find here and here