Lucy Rose – Live @ The Oxford O2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we wait for the festival season to properly kick in to gear Gig Monkey grabbed the chance to go and see one of the fastest rising stars of pop-folk scene – Lucy Rose.

I won’t take up much space talking about openers Peter & Kerry, because although they have a name that makes them sound like Cbeebies presenters, they could have learnt something about audience interaction from that weird bunch of day-glo kiddie pacifiers. Their set was competent enough folk inspired acoustica with pleasant harmony vocals and a good “Wicked Game” cover but it was also pretty unmemorable, barring Peter’s opening confession that he had lost his only guitar strap so was using one made of gaffa-tape.

By the time the tiny figure of Lucy Rose took to the stage the room was pleasantly full, and she was obviously bowled over by the size of the crowd and the rapturous reception she received. Starting the set solo, and in a very understated way she quickly hit her stride, especially once her band appeared, feeding off the adoration pouring off the crowd (to the extent she had a very serious proposals of marriage from a random Scotsman who had arrived complete with ring). Stating this was the biggest crowd on the tour outside of London she bravely peppered her set with a handful of new songs, which were upbeat, lively, fitted seamlessly, and were universally impressive, which bodes well for her next record. But it was the songs of her début album forming the backbone of this impressive 20 song set that really fired the room up. Singles like “Middle Of The Bed” and” Bikes” were sung along to with gusto and passion by almost everyone, the room crackling with energy and the sound of one or two cats being strangled.

An encore was demanded with fervour and shouts for specific songs. “Shiver” got trotted out as planned, but the calls for “Scar” generated on-stage debate as it hadn’t been played for over a year and wasn’t in the set. But, a flawless version of it nonetheless was played, meaning this was Lucy’s longest set ever. But, the songs were so good, played so well, and the atmosphere was such fun (aided by the between song banter, notably when a dive bombing fly disturbed proceedings) that it all still felt over in a flash. Team Gig Monkey for this show was made up of pop, folk and indie fans and all universally loved it, leading us to conclude if you do not like Lucy Rose, you must be dead inside.

Published in The Ocelot Magazine June 2013

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