Review: Lucy Spraggan at NX Newcastle

Review: Lucy Spraggan at NX Newcastle

Lucy Spraggan – Wednesday 15th May

Last night I had the pleasure of getting to see the incredibly talented Lucy Spraggan grace the stage of NX in Newcastle and boy, she did not disappoint. Lucy rose to fame with her epic original cover, Beer Fear, on The X Factor all the way back in 2012 if you can believe it. 12 years later, Lucy has undergone a mammoth transformation in every aspect of her life and this is reflected within her music. She has the most amazing way of telling stories with her music and more recently, those stories have been about her growth and life experiences. 

The first support act of the night was the Psychedelic sounding Tiggi Hawke. She looked stunning on stage and impressed me with her unique sound. There did appear to be some technical issues with her set and her mic levels were very quiet so at times, she was difficult to hear. She came across as quite awkward on stage at times looking at her bassist and guitarist with almost a look of fear. I’m sure her confidence will grow as she supports Lucy for the rest of the tour as this was only show number two. 

Her music was very different and almost sounded quite trance at some points with her clever use of soundboard and reverb on the mic. Her bassist was incredibly talented playing bass, keys and the soundboard all whilst wearing the worlds biggest smile. She finished her small set with a cover of Here I Go Again which I thoroughly enjoyed as she effortlessly made it her own. 

Luckily, the volumes seemed to have been ironed out for the second support act of the night in the form of Sonia Stein. She had a very relaxed and chilled vibe to her songs, a great contrast from Tiggi. Her voice was crystal clear and she sang her song Mercury Retrograde with great energy. She gave a really touching story about one of best friends dying last year and writing a song for them which she performed for us. When Africa plays is an absolute tune and I love the sample of Toto in there too- very cleverly written with both lyrics and melody. She finished off her set with her own dedication to women everywhere where she sampled I’m Every Woman. Two great supporting artists with very unique sounds. 

We eagerly anticipated Lucy Spraggan at this point and as the lights dimmed and the blue neon strobe lights filled the room the audience were chanting her name. She bounced onto stage with boundless energy and started hyping the audience up. What showmanship! She began her set with Breathe with the anthemic chanting on We Are Alive pulsating around the room. She is such an actress whenever she performs putting every fiber of her being into the song. It really feels like she means every word she sings. Her voice sounds so pure live and it was amazing to hear her incredible vocal range. 

She had amazing interaction with the audience unlike some artists I’ve seen perform live and it genuinely was like watching a friend on stage having a chat with everyone. She explained how she didn’t want to just put on a show to perform her new music, she wanted a set list which transcended through the ages of her music career. She went all the way back to a powerful song she wrote at the age of 15 with You’re too Young. She really does have such a special way of storytelling through her lyrics and I had goosebumps throughout this whole number. She rapped the verses seamlessly and had no issues at all with such a wordy song. 

I was surprised to hear her do Last Night (Beer Fear) so early on in her set but this really got the crowd going. It’s ironic that her biggest hit is a whole world away from the life she leads today but it shows just how much she has grown as a person and I loved how she ended her set with the track she rewrote Everything Changes – Beer Fear Part 2 which is a stark comparison to her initial hit. 

She went on to storytell about her life before X Factor and her trip to America for Gay Days festival and her set she performed in a blues bar where she wasn’t appreciated. She followed this up with a song she wrote after her experience there called Don’t Know Nothing About the Blues. A really touching and funny song about sticking to your guns even when people don’t believe in you. 

The sound team did a stellar job with transitioning between songs with the sound effects to suit each conversation she was going to have. You can tell how much time and thought had gone into preparing this whole set list. Thunder and lighting sound effects began as she delved into a vulnerable part of her life talking about mental health and the struggles she has faced.

She then performed my favourite song of hers, Tea and Toast. This really hit me in the feels seeing it live and this isn’t a moment I will be forgetting any time soon. She gave the song just the right amount of depth and she showed off her storytelling performance once again. I simply cannot wait to watch this song again love this summer when she performs at Kendal Calling. 

Two more brilliant segways into Bodies after talking about her body image into her sobriety journey into her song Sober which she has just rereleased featuring the amazingly talented Robbie Williams. 

She discussed how she had a new album coming out this year and the whole thing would be based around past songs that her fans have loved. She has asked questions about their favourite hits and one song that will be included is a very special song that she has written for her wife to be. This stunning tribute to her is called Other Sides of the Moon and it will be released on their wedding day. What a touching tribute. 

She really left all of herself upon that stage being open and vulnerable in the best way possible. There is just something so special about Lucy’s music. It is so relatable but also truly gut wrenching at times. Her music calms the soul, inspires creativity and feeds our need to be understood. A truly incredible gig which felt so personable and real. I will definitely be seeing her again the next time she tours. You can really see the years of experience she has under her belt with the way she commands the stage. A true professional in my eyes.

Reviewed by Robyn McGough

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