Lucy Rose – Oran Mor, Glasgow – 22/11/17

“We were given a beautiful cake in the shape of a teapot, with a saucer and a cup and everything. The man had taken two days to make it as a thank you for me continuing to make music.”, said Lucy. On the basis of this performance, to think that Lucy Rose had thoughts of stopping writing and performing music is startling (even more so than the thought that Glasgow fans will provide their favourite acts gifts in the form of decorated baking!).

The respectful silence shown in a seated Glasgow’s Oran Mor (seats laid out to Rose’s direction, “the staff in here must be sick of me and my demands for where the seats needed to go”) was testament to the strength of the set list Rose and her band performed. Having already been treated to support act Charlie Cunningham’s intricate guitar playing and vocals on tracks such as ‘Breather’ & ‘Heights’, Rose took to the stage to the ‘Intro’ of her fantastic 2017 album Something’s Changing.

The quality of Rose’s voice instantly captured the crowd. Playing through an early run of tracks from this most recent release, Rose’s voice is quite clearly the star of the show. That star however superbly supported by the surprise of glorious harmonies between Rose, her keyboard/violinist and bass player (all 6 foot-plus of bass player, Ben Daniels, who appeared to be The Mountain from Game of Thrones in his off-season).

Rose is relaxed, confident and charming although almost apologetic throughout. That self-assessment and underserved doubt reflected through songs played here such as ‘Find Myself’ and ‘No Good At All’. As the band depart the stage mid-way through, Rose tells the crowd, “This is the most daunting part of the set for me, the transition from playing in pubs and clubs for years with no-one listening to now you all listening”. We’re treated to a stripped back version of 2015’s ‘Our Eyes’ and a bonus solo version of ‘End Up Here’ which we are informed was dropped from the set, however as her guitar tech (and husband) handed her a guitar is hastily added back!

This relaxed feel continues as the band return and Rose informs us “there’s about five songs left” so we all know firmly where we stand! Her announcement for the, “half of the audience who have been dragged here by a friend who is a fan. If you wanna sleep, this is your chance!” followed by slower track ‘Moirai’. The tempo is lifted near the end of the set where the crowd sing-a-long to older songs ‘Bikes’ and ‘Shiver’. The former including an interlude as Rose and the Oran Mor crowd celebrate the initial one-man scream which, pleasingly, develops across the room!

A short break before an encore of Something’s Changing highlight ‘Soak It Up’ before Rose, takes the lead, announcing they’ll be finishing with ‘Like An Arrow’, irrespective of her band voting four to one not to play it! As with all of the set tonight, Rose hits the right mark (if only to hear those high vocals of The Mountain one more time!).

Ross Francis

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