Tuesday, 30 April 2013

REVIEW: 'I Don't Gamble Like I Used To' - Lucy Rose, Leeds Cockpit, 27/04/2013 (Eclectic Gig Fortnight Part 1)

Lucy Rose, 27/04/2013, by Jenessa Williams


Compared to the echoing halls of urban festivals that she has been filling of late, tonight’s gig, downgraded from Leeds Met uni, feels like a sedated affair for Lucy Rose. The start of a sprawling UK tour, starting just two days after she has finished a different tour with Counting Crows, one suspects she could probably do with a break. That is of course to do her no disservice – the super talented 23 year old is using this tour as a lap of honour before settling down to record her second album, the follow up to the gorgeous Like I Used To. Whilst the venue might be small, there is a palpable celebration in the air, and the modest crowd make up for the half-filled venue with whoops, hollers and laddish cheers.

Peter and Kerry by Jenessa Williams
Before our strawberry haired chanteuse graces us with her presence, we are treated to a few ditties by the not-so-inspirationally named duo, Peter and Kerry. Taking in Kerry’s perched-just-so beanie hat and oversized jumper, and Peter’s Nick Grimshaw-esque quiff, one would suspect hip pop in the vein of AlunaGeorge or Disclosure, but what we get instead is The XX vs. She & Him. They harmonise beautifully and carry a tangible chemistry, but lack the rousing undertones that have made our headliner so popular, creating restlessness within the crowd. Their delicacy in endearing, but perhaps more suited to a quiet night in that a live gig.
Lucy Rose by Jenessa Williams
Lucy Rose starts just as delicately, with a beautiful version of the rarely outed Gamble, but the fire in her eyes is obvious. Despite her diminutive stature, she is not a girl to be messed with- wearing jeans and an Adidas t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up, she looks like a rambunctious little sister who wants to play football with her brothers mates.
The melodies that tumble out of mouth are at complete odds with her outfit and her frequent stage banter blasphemy. It doesn’t matter how many times you watch her – the pure, melancholic soprano that she so effortlessly delivers is so flawless that it’s hard to believe. Having gained a full live band, she is having to work even harder to outpower their bass and guitars, but it works, proof that vocal height doesn’t always mean tinny weakness. Fan favourites Shiver and Bikes are more powerful than ever, Watch Over becomes a furiously riffed calling card and the epic cello of Don’t You Worry makes it stand out in a way it simply couldn’t on record.
The nature of this tour means several new songs also make an appearance, and they do not disappoint. All currently unnamed, influences of Grizzly Bear and previous collaborators Bombay Bicycle Club spring to mind, particularly in the last new song, with a bassline so dirty it is practically begging to be the lead single from her next record. With this exciting new chapter looming, it appears that this will be last time in a while we see her in venues this small, and certainly the last time we see them half full.

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