It’s difficult to write about a talent this precocious without sounding patronising.
Bella Estelle is the vehicle of singer-songwriter Bella Xenopolous who is still only 17, but performs with the assured nature of someone far beyond those years.
Her songs veer towards anthemic pop-rock, and with the guitar strapped on she is a total rock-chick - a flick of the hair here, a bounce of the guitar off the hip there, and an air punch…
Of course if the songs didn’t stand up to scrutiny, all the posturing in the world would count for nothing.
And this is where she really impresses. Across the course of the 10-song set, the quality remains remarkably high.
From electric guitar, to acoustic, and a couple of numbers at the keyboard, if there are nerves, they’re not showing.
Towards the end of the set she puts down the guitar and confesses that she feels ‘bare’ without an instrument to hide behind. If she hadn’t mentioned it you wouldn’t have noticed – the performance is as confident as ever.
On 2018 single Crazy in Love (not a Beyonce cover), it’s initially just Bella at the mic and guitarist Matt before a swift ‘1,2,3,4’ and the song kicks into overdrive as the rhythm section, drummer Joel and bassist Josh, piles in. It’s a more effective arrangement than on the recorded version.
She’s surrounded herself with a great band who complement her well.
At the end of the 45-minute set there are calls for ‘one more’, and Bella is forced to admit, rather endearingly, that they have no more material.
At the request of an audience shout-out they replay Pouring Rain, a song previously played mid-set.
This is Bella Estelle’s debut headline set, but if the band keeps turning out performances like this, there should be many more in their future.