Now I pretty much had Sia pegged as a serious artist whose downtempo songs and collaborations with Zero 7 were nothing short of blissful, relaxing and inspired.  And for the most part – that is true.  However, my opinion of Sia (the solo artist) changed dramatically when I saw her live for the first time at Kings College in London last Tuesday.

To preface the experience, let’s just get one thing outta the way.  I didn’t go to University in the UK.  American universities generally don’t have Student Unions where you can pretty much drink all night long to your heart’s content and spend at most, 10 quid.  And if you need something hearty to eat – you won’t spend over a fiver.  Rather brilliant – it sure beats the amount of times I had to swindle a fake ID at my University in Rhode Island so I could illegally drink before the age of 21!  So when my friend Keelylicious suggested that we go crash the Student Union before the show – I was completely up for it.  Keeleylicious introduced me to these lethal drinks called ‘Snakebites’ and boy were they lethal!  I’m surprised I can remember this much of the show…

Sia Walking into the venue I was surprised that it was covered in cute cuddly toys and the most original lighting fixtures I have ever seen in the shape of hand-drawn flowers and trees!  The stage was a colour cornicopia.  Sia is obviously a child at heart with her current art direction being based on children’s drawings which is quite cute…not the flashy and slick Photoshop creations that most artists would opt for these days.  Opening with the infectious pop diddy ‘Buttons’ we see Sia and her band dressed up as happy neon-stick figures which was really fun and it was from then on I knew that this wasn’t going to be your average pop concert…

What I love most about Sia is that she’s so godamnned quirky.  Not like you would expect from her songs which are pretty polar opposite.  The best part about seeing a live gig for me is the commentary between the setlist and I am convinced that if Sia weren’t the brilliant vocalist and songstress she is now – she could very well have a promising career in comedy.  She was even giving out beers and kisses to audience members in which after she gave a boy a kiss, she exclaimed "I got herpes!  No I don’t.  Yes I do!  Just spreading the love"… And when her drummer kindly offered his beer to Sia, he exclaimed after she took a sip "I have an STD!"  So hilarious.  Not that STDs are hilarious, but it was funny in that you definitely-had-to-be-there sort of way.  I’m sure the boy she kissed didn’t really care either way and I am totally not suggesting Sia has herpes…I’m sure she was kidding!  Crazy gal!

I can’t pretend to know all the songs Sia sang because I am not a hardcore fan (for which there were many there that night), but overall the setlist was amazing!  We were treated to ‘Somersault’ and ‘Destiny’ from the Zero 7 catalog as well as some songs like ‘Electric Bird’ from her soon-to-be-released new album ‘Some People Have Real Problems’.  Sia jokingly admitted that the new album has already leaked and is available to illegally download and she’s cool with it as long as you buy a ticket to one of her gigs!  Awww.  The obvious highlight for me was when Sia performed ‘Breathe Me’ in which I almost started crying as soon as the eerie piano chords were played.  I first heard this song on the series finale of Six Feet Under and then became obsessed with the tune in the exact same way that fellow blogger ‘Adem With An E‘ did when he blogged about it on The Hotstuff Files awhile back.  I am also finding out that a lot of other fans have come to discover Sia in the same way.

All in all – this was probably one of the best shows I’ve been to.  It was more fun than a night out with Robyn and even more entertaining than seeing Madonna live at Wembley.  I will happily go to another Sia gig if I can get tickets.  You have to be quick though – girlfriend has a lot of dedicated fans.  Sia said of her fans that whenever she is having a "low esteem day" – she logs onto her message board and reads all the messages.  She even wrote down the names of everyone who told her they were coming to the show on her arm and just about every song she sang was dedicated to a particular fan in the audience.  So sweet.  Sia’s biggest fear of her growing fan base is that she "doesn’t want to turn into a wanker".  Somehow I don’t think this could possibly happen.

Sia’s next London show is at Koko on 9 April, I’m telling you.  Don’t miss it.  I am dusting off my copy of ‘Colour The Small One’ now and will be downloading the new album shortly.  After seeing this show – I very well could turn into a hardcore fan.  Sia has pushed my ‘buttons’.

Go and download ‘Electric Bird’ for free from Arjan’s blog now to get a taste for Sia and her unique brand of loveliness.