For the first time in a year and a half, singer/songwriter Lucy Rose took off around the UK for a headline tour, with support from her full band. The tour came as support for her forthcoming sophomore album, out July 13th, a follow up to 2012 offering Like I Used To, stopping at Nottingham’s Bodega last night for the final date. A single support act joined Lucy and co. on tour, Sheffield based The Half Earth, who fitted the night excellently and showed more than hint of promise.
Beginning the show with a dirty acoustic sound and understated energy, The Half Earth established a light, friendly atmosphere in the packed venue; when the audience weren’t captivated by his feathery vocals, they were laughing at whatever humorously self-deprecating statement he’d just come out with. Very probably used to pulling crowds of the same size on his own, he managed to keep the room enthralled with a powerful and rather moving performance.
Don’t be fooled by the acoustic guitar Lucy Rose is so often pictured with – there’s a lot more to her than your straight-up Nina Nesbitt or Laura Marling sound, though you’ll find her vocals just as riveting. The often sparse and eclectic backing that accompanies her music jumps from cow bell laden tracks to riffed up guitar pieces easily, dipping into instrumentals that cross the border to experimental and psychedelic, forging a hypnotic backdrop to her understated Sara Bareilles-esque vocals.
Keeping up the light atmosphere that starkly contrasted the melancholy tinged music, Lucy created an overly open and friendly rapport with the crowd. After telling an anecdote of an occasion where the trick hadn’t gone so well, Lucy made the brave choice to teach the crowd a new song and request a sing along – despite confessing “I can barely sing it myself”. This was one of many examples of new work that featured in the show, alongside fan favourite (judged by cheers) Night Bus, comfortably switching between the eras of work.
The occasional comic slip up was graciously and explicitly explained, and with such a charismatic, fun attitude it was impossible to hold it against her. Though she described the event as, “the dishevelled end of what was once a great show”, an enthusiastic crowd could see her doing no wrong, and the atmospheric music proved that eighteen months off the headline gig circuit has done her no harm.