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Lucy Spraggan - O2 Institute, Birmingham 23.10.2018

I’ve been following Lucy Spraggan since she charmed the UK public when appearing on the X Factor back in 2012. Since then, she’s come leaps and bounds from the girl who graced our TV screens, having performed at Victorious and Glastonbury festival as well as just finishing her first American tour. I decided to head down to Birmingham’s O2 Institute to see her latest show.

Well known for selecting brilliant support acts, we weren’t disappointed this time at all. First up were Ferris & Sylvester, a Pop-Folk style duo who performed a stellar, if slightly short set. Their latest single 'Burning River' went down a treat with the crowd, and I was impressed with their performance style (I can’t multitask, so I’m in awe of anyone who can play more than one instrument at any time, especially guitar, drums and vocals on top.) It wasn’t long before they had the crowd joining in, with their hands raised high and clapping along to the rhythm.

I was incredibly excited for Callum Beattie’s set – Lucy had been singing his praises for weeks prior on social media, and from what I’d listened to I was impressed. True to her word, he delivered a fantastic performance, spinning and jumping across the stage as he played tracks such as 'San Antonio' and my personal favourite 'Some Heroes Don’t Wear Capes', which he dedicated to his father. His performance was the perfect balance between talented musician and next door cheeky chappie, as he pulled faces at the cameras and stuck his tongue out at the audience. Laughing between songs, his positive energy was infectious, and left a smile on my face as he excited the stage to rapturous applause from the crowd.

And finally, Lucy. It’s been a good while since I’d seen her perform last, a few years as far as I know. And boy, has she come far. Opening with 'Paper Dreams', she surprisingly cast her guitar away for 'Modern Day Frankenstein' as she fancied ‘a bit of a dance’, much to the delight of her fans. It’s heart warming seeing an artist develop and grow as a performer, and that’s what we saw through the whole night – her confidence in performing has skyrocketed, her stage presence second to none. The audience sang along for the entire 17 song strong setlist, right from her earliest material (I’m looking at you 'Beer Fear') right through to some of her latest releases such as 'Hey William'. I can easily say her fanbase is one of the most dedicated groups of individuals I’ve ever seen, and Lucy adores them, smiling and waving at faces she recognises in the crowd, a look of awe on her face.

As the show closed with 'Unsinkable', the cacophony from the room was unbelievable. She deserves it too.

Photos & Review - Eleanor Sutcliffe

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