Billy Lockett at Glee Club, Nottingham

Not long after his biggest headline tour to date, singer/songwriter Billy Lockett has spent his last free moments of the year supporting Nina Nesbitt’s six date acoustic tour of the country, stopping at Nottingham’s Glee Club on Wednesday night. The intimate venue – a true one of its kind in the city – matched the mood of the night sublimely; all delicate fairy lights and a gentle hint as Christmas, a seated instead of standing show not reducing the enthusiasm of either crowds or acts.

In a night filled with guitar based singer/songwriters, Billy Lockett’s piano show was a stand out to grasp the waiting audience’s attention in ways only a piano can. Acoustic shows never give the acts a guise of loud music or gang vocals to smother any mistakes, but this extra pressure and transparency apparently proved no issue for the Northampton singer/song writer; he mastered his control over the room by delivering a near on perfect show, keeping up the high standard set by Tommy Ashby and Keri Watt. Heavily dozed with emotion, the set began without hesitation and suitably wowed those watching.

Second up of the set list was his industry success single, Old Man (the lead track off the EP if the same title that reached 38 in the iTunes top 40, the only unsigned artist of the week, and 5 in the singer/songwriter chart). Executed with a quality identical to that of the studio version the track was equally powerful regards pulling on the heart strings. The only build up in stripped back acoustic show came in the form of percussion input from the clapping crowd, and in turn they erupted into colossal waves of cheers at the song’s close.

Introducing his next work as, “the coolest song I’ve ever written”, I wouldn’t say he was wrong in that. A much slower and romantically tinged piece powered the set onwards with the subtle command of the room’s controlled acoustics, enhancing the clarity of the piece. The sort of show that’s almost too good to be true, Billy continues to prove why he’s had so much success in the industry, with every song heavy with passion and sincerity.

Despite the marginally subdued atmosphere, he still found it possible to encourage the crowd in a group sing a long, followed by an unsurprisingly round of “awww”s as he announced his final song of the night. It’s very rare that I find a cover to be better than the original (apologies, Mariah Carey), but this rendition of safe choice All I Want For Christmas Is You may well have broken that rule. Inspiring festive cheer throughout the crowd, the atmosphere was as infectious as it was delightful; a mood lifter to end a wonderful show.

If it’s any more difficult to exude enthusiasm whilst being seated at a piano than dancing with a guitar, Billy’s show didn’t so much as hint at this. His success so far has been a triumph, but I’ve a strong feeling we’ve not seen the best of it yet.

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