Gig review: Luke Friend @ Deaf Institute, Manchester

The Deaf Institute, Manchester, was all ears as Luke Friend, of X Factor 2013 fame, took to the stage to perform his debut as a solo artist, on Sunday April 19.

Luke’s EP Ont’Sofa was released earlier this year, and his anthemic first single Hole In My Heart reached the Top 40.

His performance was charismatic and at only 18-years-old, his music has maturity that is beyond his years.

The set was a mixture of acoustic and up-beat indie-pop, fused with eclectic elements of soul, reggae and rock which are showcased throughout his album.

The development in his ability to explore the light and shade in his vocals allowed Luke to show off the soulful depth to his voice.

The Yorkshire born teen uses his choral roots and the band, a drummer and keyboardist, tackled breaks in beat with precision with Luke fronting on guitar.

Performing with laid back energy, his enjoyment was matched with the crowd’s appreciation of the sing-along catchiness of songs like Dynamite.

There is great scope for wide appeal, to younger audiences as well as older generations, exemplified with songs such as Medicine, a loving tribute to his late grandfather.

Love, sex and loss are tackled with quality and his ability to articulate experiences that many people go through will resonate with listeners of all ages.

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