java soulnation // sophie ellis-bextor

Sophie, not Sopie.

Java Soulnation

It was what Sophie Ellis-Bextor said in the middle of her performance at Java Soulnation on 25 September 2011. Sophie claimed that the organiser had misspelt her name to Sopie on the poster.

Anyway, perhaps rather a surprise to most people, it was not her first time coming to Jakarta. She was here in 2001 to promote her first album, and ten years later, she returned to Jakarta, after releasing a total of 4 albums, which she claimed they made her like being a mother of four.

I am actually not into Sophie’s current music, but I must admit that I used to listen to a lot of his songs especially from her debut album “Read My Lips” and the sophomore “Shoot From The Hip”.

Her current music is like a return to before she released her first album, when she launched her fame from a cute indie vocalist to a sexy solo singer as featured on Spiller’s “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love).

It was probably rather a predictable move. In August last year, she was again featured in a dance hit of Dutch famous DJ Armin van Buuren (he was born in Leiden btw) “Not Giving Up on Love”. So no wonder her hits from her latest album “Make A Scene” were very dance-y and clubby (those two words sound very awful btw, I will look for some other terms), like “Heartbreak (Makes Me A Dancer)”, “Starlight”, and “Can’t Fight This Feeling”. Of course, since Sophie’s coming was a part of her promoting the album, her setlist were mostly her hit singles which I have just mentioned earlier, including the one of van Buuren’s.

The performance itself was opened with “Dial My Number”, the album 11th track, continued with some of her old hits, largely from the debut album, like “Get Over You”, “Take Me Home”, and “Murder on the Dancefloor”.

Despite the cold complexion of her skin (and also the cool look of her face) she was actually really warm and friendly on stage. She asked the audience a couple of times to sing along, as in “Murder on the Dancefloor” and “Get Over You”, although the latter was merely singing the part of ‘ayayayay’. But Sophie was very much impressed. And even on the last part of “Murder on the Dancefloor” she was down on her knees, pointing out the microphone towards the audience.

Sophie was still as charming as ever, despite her rather casual clothes that quite unusual for she who often dressed really posh and her looks that was rather older than she supposed to. I mean, she’s only 3 years my senior but she already looked as if she was in her late 30s. Maybe she should spend more time in Indonesia. Everybody looks younger here. Well, in general 😛

And Sophie was saving the best for last. Well, last before encore, actually. A medley of Modjo’s “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)”, Spiller’s “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”, and Moloko’s “Sing It Back”, all very famous in the late late 90s/early 2000-ish.

Unfortunately, my favourite songs of Sophie’s “Music Gets the Best of Me” and two hit singles from Shoot From The Hip “Mixed Up World” and “I Won’t Change You” were not on the setlist 😦 That whole second album was completely skipped. Helaas, pindakaas!

But in general it was a really nice performance. Although rather overrated by most people.

Oh anyway, I on purpose took a position on the right side because I don’t really like to photograph the tattoo on Sophie’s right arm. It was rather horrible, for someone as posh as Sophie.

ps: I think the bassist was sort of a documentation-freak like me. He was taking pictures and videos when he was not playing..


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