Petite, on point and nothing less than exceptional: Lucy Rose takes her new sound of second album ‘Work It Out’ to Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms. Lucy draws a diverse crowd. From simply looking around the venue, it seems that she appeals to both old and young alike, and this spread of people reflects her skills as a widely relatable singer-songwriter. Since doing backing vocals for Bombay Bicycle Club’s hugely successful third album, she has gone on to make her own material and has taken her solo work on the road to sell out shows across the country. Similar to Bombay’s approach of seemingly reinventing their sound album by album, her second record takes a slightly different path to her debut. It’s heavier in places with electronic influences and bearing this in mind, I am slightly hesitant as to how the mismatched crowd and age gaps will receive this new material.
However, after an impressive opening from the alt-pop four piece support Flyte, all my uncertainties about the reception to her new music are soon put at ease. The lights go down and Lucy literally skips onto the stage with an expression that seems overwhelmingly content with the turn out. Her band launches straight into playing new tracks which are met by satisfied jostles and cheers from the packed-out crowd. Hunched over the microphone in boyish attire, Rose makes lunging about on stage look graceful with an energy that is as infectious as it is enchanting.
Rose beautifully performs new hits ‘Like An Arrow’ and ‘Shelter’ as well as older favourites like ‘Middle of The Bed’ and ‘Lines’. She takes the time between songs to explain the meaning of a select few here and there. She describes the opening track of the current album ‘For You’ as a perfect bridge between her first and second record – an introduction to what is to follow. She goes further to discuss her relationship with song writing in general and talks about how this album has been a milestone in her expressing and finding herself. This candidness is seen when the backing music drops away in feathery-pop tune ‘Nebraska’ to leave just her vocals proclaiming ‘I’m walking on thin ice/To find who I really am’. The vulnerable side to Rose the crowd gets to see here contrasts alongside the pop-electronics of tracks like ‘Our Eyes’, in which her pristinely delicate vocals together with grittier guitar riffs makes for a really lovely mix.
Her modesty and gratitude is again reflected in her apparent shock from the gasps of excitement in response to the first chord – yes chord – of ‘Bikes’. The endearing pleasure she exudes from playing to people who are there solely to listen doesn’t fizzle out for the entire set. Throughout the night Rose continues to impress and there is a sense of sincerity about her in that she genuinely means what she’s saying to the crowd. Every note she hits echoes how much she is enjoying herself and she even goes as far to thank the audience for putting the effort in to clap at the end of each song. Coming back on for a three track encore, Lucy closed the set by thanking the attendees (once again), wishing them a good night, and meant every word of it.
By Becky De Laurenzy