Banks - O2 ABC2, Glasgow, Sun 23 Mar 2014 (4 stars)

Banks - O2 ABC2, Glasgow, Sun 23 Mar 2014

Photo: Euan Ramsay

The rising R&B pop starlet showcases and amazing vocal range at this intimate gig

Jillian Banks is the friend in your group that is shy the one minute, then after a few drinks is up on the dancefloor, totally wrapped up in the music as you look on in amazement, sipping on your vodka and Coke. Replace the drinks with a couple of lines from a broken-hearted love song, and you have the Los Angeles R&B pop starlet, Banks.

Opening with 'Before I Ever Met You', Banks slowly progresses through the song, increasing the volume as the track approaches the chorus before exploding into an amazing vocal range. That range is displayed throughout the set, especially in EP hits ‘Brain’ and during an intriguing acoustic version of ‘Warm Water’ which drowns the audience in the lush sounds and the hypnotic voice of Banks and her band.

As her voice becomes bolder, the songstress creates an extremely raunchy stage presence which, mixed with the intimate setting of ABC2, creates sexual tension in the air. She points members of the audience out if they’re feeling the performance, seductively staring into the eyes of the lucky recipient on the receiving end of the wagging finger. She removes her jumper which is met by ‘woos’ from the girls, as their partners squeeze their other halves’ palms tighter, just slightly cutting off the circulation to their fingers.

The latter stages of her performance feature new tracks from her forthcoming album, which keeps the audiences standing up as well as those feet moving for a few more times before ending on a fantastic cover of The Weeknd’s wonderful 'What You Need'.

Surprisingly, the fact she won third place in the BBC’s Sound of 2014 list didn’t sell this gig out, but with her album released early this year, it’s hard to she'll be short of friends in the near future, perhaps even becoming a very popular face in pop and R&B.

BANKS - Brain (Official Video)

Banks covers The Weeknd - What You Need for Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1


Soulful vocals with synth string backing from the Los Angeles singer-songwriter.

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