Wow. Just wow. Twelve hours have passed since I left Dingwalls, a small intimate venue in Camden. Yet I still feel just as inspired as when I was there, standing in a daze of wonderment amongst an equally in awe crowd. Playing her second consecutively sold out night in London, with unassuming charm and ease, Lucy Rose delivered a memorable performance, in what has got to be one of the best gigs I have seen this year.
A single golden light silhouettes her small frame, as guitar in hand she begins her first song, Lines. The bustling audience quietens, the girl from Warwickshire’s gentle voice luring them in. And as Rose sang the lyrics “Tell me if you love someone” before the first chorus, we knew this was an artist with range. Throughout the show there is a perfect musical texture, her signature tenderness balanced with a louder, passionate storminess. She follows this with a new song, a running theme in her set. She bashfully tells us that tonight we are guinea pigs for her new material, but no one seems to mind, each new song being received just as well as the older material from her 2012, Like I Used To album. If this is what it’s like being a guinea pig, I think it’s definitely time to go buy myself an exercise wheel.
Sinking into her set, she plays her new single Only Eyes, the humorous video of which having been recently released. She plays Watch Over, then another new song in which she plays piano. She modestly confides in the audience she has only recently learnt how to play the instrument. Then, in an amusing anecdote, she proceeded to recommend Desmond, a man who repairs and sells pianos from upstairs, in Camden Lock Market. On a side note, I have just learnt, that this Desmond has trekked up the Himalayas, to deliver a piano to an isolated community, pretty interesting.
Anyway, Lucy continues, effortlessly playing Middle of the Bed, Nightbus, another new song and by popular demand, Lines. The highlight of the show is when Rose plays a heart wrenchingly sombre rendition of Shiver. As she sings, the crowd hums along, a ghostly echo to her delicate, soaring vocals. Finishing, she asks for the lights to be turned on, leaning forward to hug a crying member of the audience. She tell us that it’s good if music can make you sad, because that means it’s making you feel, joking that it’s okay, even if she has to do a “round” of hugs.
Another new song and someone asks for its name. She squirms and cringes, telling us it’s way too cheesy. She momentarily fights with herself, but the crowd encourages her, until she embarrassingly lets out that it’s called Will You Love Me? She endearingly bashes her ginger fringe against the microphone, asking “I can’t call it that can I?” A bold gentlemen shouts out “The answer is yes!” The audience cheers, rupturing into applause, as an overwhelmed Rose looks across the sea of smiling faces. It’s remarkable how natural this dialogue passed between us and her, a naturalness also shown between her and her talented bandmates.
Before playing her encore, Rose tells us it is amazing how we have given her such a reaction, despite playing so many new songs, thanking us for supporting her during the transition to her new album. During the show she told us how this was the first time she had had to do a second night in London, due to having instantly sold out the first date. After watching this gig, experiencing her charisma and talent, I think this is going to start happening a lot more than she realises.