Lucy Rose At The Exeter Phoenix

by Jessikah Hope Stenson

Having never been lucky enough to see Lucy Rose perform live before, I, like so many others, eagerly awaited her show at the Exeter Phoenix. Plus, with two highly regarded support acts lined up, I had high expectations.

Instead of rambling on about the size of the crowd during the first support act, I will just tell you how unique Mercury nominated C Duncan was. Although his songs were relatively slow in pace, the audience was entranced. He brought two other musicians alongside him to create harmonies that in parts sounded pitchy, yet the bass and keys added layers to C Duncan’s music, leaving you unsure of what to focus on – it was all so mesmerising. The audience remained completely still during his performance, which doesn’t indicate that they weren’t enjoying it, in fact entirely the opposite. C Duncan’s music requires to be listened to properly and the Exeter Phoenix was the ideal live setting to do just that. Also, from the beginning of his set I couldn’t stop thinking that he reminded me of someone. A few tracks in it struck me – McFly’s Tom Fletcher. His face, expressions, even something about his tone all screamed Tom, which, when attached to his sound, all seemed quite bizarre.

The second support act, Flyte, brought life to the Phoenix. In comparison to C Duncan’s mellow, dreamy set, Flyte brought the punch that was needed to get everyone excited for Lucy once again. Despite having never listened to them before, I found myself picking up their catchy lyrics and rhythms. In particular, their tracks Faithless and Light Me Up were particularly memorable and it’s not often I can walk away from a gig able to recite the titles of support act songs. Also, at the end of their set, frontman Will Taylor said, “We don’t actually have much merch, we have transferable tattoos though.” Needless to say, those tattoos were very popular.

Then, it was finally time for Lucy. From her debut LP, Like I Used To, she appeared to be an acoustic, graceful folk musician who would most likely perform live in the predictable manner of the genre. You know, some quirky guitar songs and shy stage interaction then leaving without much variety of style or instrumentation. However, on her second album Work It Out, Lucy experimented with her sound by adding electric guitar and incorporating indie style riffs. In the setting of a live show, this meant a greater band sound which, although has the potential of drowning out her pristine vocals, gives her some well-needed oomph.

Shiver allowed the audience to fully appreciate her delicate yet beautiful voice while tracks including Like An Arrow and For You got the audience clapping and singing along. Much like her voice, Lucy’s interactions with the audience began nervously but blossomed over the course of the evening. By the final song, Work It Out, she seemed completely confident on the stage and not quite ready to leave it, despite her recurring joke of having a set that was “too long” – never.