Review: Lucy Rose @ Manchester Academy 3

Lucy Rose’s gig last night was certainly one to remember, including a subdued encore amid a musical hypnosis, followed by a win for authenticity, friendship and loaves of bread.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as Lucy prepared to kick off her UK tour in Manchester, but I did have premonitions after exhausting both of her albums to more than a million plays per song.

And truthfully, apart from songs that the foundations of which may have been inspired by hip hop producer DJ Khaled, they lent themselves to relaxing in a pond full of bread.

But while it’s healthy to relax, there’s a time and a place, and the possibility of a live performance including hundreds of fans relaxing on top of each other was a weird prospect.

I think Lucy was conscious of that too. She’d said to me in an interview that part of the reason Work It Out underwent a pop-esque transformation was to make her gigs more hard-hitting and edgy.

And premonitions that I’d had seemed justified after three songs in, as fans slowly crept closer to the floor ready to band-bathe.

But ironically, after she performed Watch Over and Middle of the Bed, which are fantastic, upbeat songs that featured on her first album, the atmosphere lifted as the crowd sang lyrics word for word.

Instrumental interludes, especially after Bikes, were a prominent highlight as they fed the edgy momentum and got the audience nodding to their heart’s content.

What’s worth mentioning is that the Mancunian audience, more often than not, looked absorbed while listening to her enchanting voice.

Lucy returned on the stage after an encore and said: “That was the worst encore I’ve ever had. You sure you want me to come back on?”

Which promptly broke them out of a trance and evoked an enormous cheer which likely killed any trace of bacteria.

The musician was taken aback by the audience throughout the night, saying, “It’s so lovely to hear all of you sing these songs. This has made me want to continue writing, seriously.”

The performance made her more likeable as a person, as the musician from Warwickshire admitted that She’ll Move was inspired by a member of the audience who sent her an encouraging letter. 

What’s more is that she spoke to us like we were chums, and displayed elements of her humour by asking if we liked the boob t-shirt she donned underneath her denim shirt.

Lucy fought tooth and nail to ensure that the music she produced represents her preferences and not her record labels.

She described how she would ‘argue’, ‘constantly fight’ and be told that ‘what I’m producing isn’t good enough’ by her affiliates, which would cause her to stress that this is what she considers ‘her music’.

And it was perhaps a relief that she won, as Lucy’s gig stayed true to her guns and her unwavering fans.

But more crucially, showed that authenticity is worth fighting for to set the mood just right for the warm caress of a fresh loaf of bread.

Image courtesy of Paul Hudson, with thanks.

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