The power of internet buzz became visible in Brixton last night when Aleksandra “Shura” Denton performed to a sizeable sweating mass of fans without a hit single or an album to her name. This was a big place to fill when the conventional measures of pop success have yet to be met. But her song Touch, a soothing, simple soul song whose video is a feast of slow-motion snogging, is now approaching 18 million YouTube views – more than enough to translate into a full London venue in real life.
The Moscow-born singer-producer’s early popularity has even affected her songwriting. She has said that her song Indecision, with its tinny electropop beats reminiscent of Eighties Madonna, is about struggling to choose a record label from the many that wanted to sign her. In concert her smoochier side was sidelined in order to keep volume and energy levels surging. Even 2Shy, a beautiful slow burner in its recorded form, culminated in a noisy face-off with her guitarist, her Kurt Cobain blonde bob shaking.
Splitting her time between keyboard and guitar, Shura ended up with a sound fashionably reminiscent of the tasteful electro-soul made by Jessie Ware and many more, but with a tougher edge. Closing song White Light was a pleasant groove, softly sung, that grew into a long guitar climax and a worthy last hurrah.