As I hurriedly arrive at The Brudenell Social Club for tonight’s gig, the venue front usually busy with punters getting in their last cigarettes before the show starts is empty, and the car park is bursting to capacity with cars in every nook and cranny. This can only mean one thing, Lucy Rose has started, oh and it’s clearly going to be very busy.
As I dash through the doors Lucy Rose and her band have just started and as I look across a sea of bobbing heads I hark back to my initial thoughts when asked to review this gig ‘Lucy Rose at The Brudenell? Really?’ because considering how busy it is and Lucy Rose’s stature within the music world I imagine she could have filled one of the bigger University venues in town without a problem. But that’s the beauty of The Brudenell Social Club, no matter what the size of the artist, it always seems to fit and tonight is no different. It’s clear to see she has a fondness for Leeds and the venue as she chats away to the crowd between songs like it’s just a couple of mates getting together over a coffee. This makes you want to like her even more. The fact that the band are tight and the music is great is one thing, but her open personality and chatty nature makes you understand she’s in the right place with the character of the venue being a reflection of herself and her music. This is no more apparent than when she jokes about farts and explains in-depth her horror of making the video for new single Our Eyes. Everyone’s laughing and it’s all part of the joy of her set.
Anyway, I digress because aside from all of the above people are here to see Lucy Rose sing and play and she doesn't disappoint. The main attraction is her beautifully wispy, ethereal like voice as she chops and changes between more acoustic based then electric songs. This must be something new for Lucy as she announces to her own amazement that she’s standing up, with ‘no stool!’ suggesting that in years gone by sets have been put together with much more emphasis on the acoustic side of things, but you can’t tell, and the truly great thing about the band tonight is considering that I imagine most of her songs start out acoustically the bands accompaniment it tastefully done. The rhythm section gives the shuffle her songs need while the additional guitars and keys add more texture, rather than being an overbearing presence. What’s also great are the little improv-freak-out-jams between songs, hazy and blurred they resemble a shoegaze-esque quality and with the nature of Lucy’s vocals you can almost imagine a Cocteau Twins inspired album in the future if she wanted a dramatic turn in her style.
All her hits are there amongst the new songs that she’s embedding into the collective psyche ahead of the new albums release. Lines, Middle of The Bed, Shiver all get good receptions with the biggest cheer saved for Bikes. Our Eyes is the most memorable of the new songs not only because of its mention about the video but also its vibrant shimmering beats and pop sensibilities mean it’s sure to be a hit.
The night ends with an encore and finale of personal favourite Red Face, a fitting end to a great gig where anyone who wasn't won over at the beginning on the night, surely are now.
Words and photos - Robin Chamberlain
Lucy Rose Official