LIVE: Lucy Spraggan – Albert Hall, Manchester, 06/05/2023

LIVE: Lucy Spraggan – Albert Hall, Manchester, 06/05/2023

It’s been a decade since Lucy Spraggan shot to fame on the X Factor. Since then, she’s released six albums – with her last release landing at #5 in the UK album charts – relentlessly toured venues of all shapes and sizes and packed a multitude of festival tents out. With her seventh studio album due for release in August, the singer songwriter is back on the road with new music. We caught her sold out show at Manchester’s Albert Hall.

Lucy kicked off the evening with ‘Unsinkable’ – a remarkable live track that highlights some of Lucy’s most intimate lyrics. Often a set closer, it was interesting to see Lucy shake things up and it certainly got the crowd going. Next up was the upbeat ‘Run’, before the contemplative ‘Mountains’ – a song inspired by a chance meeting she had with an elderly lady in a train station.

The recently released ‘OCD’ was the first new offering of the evening and it was joined by ‘Bodies’, ‘Balance’ and ‘Sober’. Showcasing the material that we can expect to hear on Lucy’s upcoming album, the tracks all have one thing in common – they’re incredibly personable. Lucy’s an extremely talented storyteller and this is reflected in both her lyrics and onstage rapport. From sobriety to taking care of your mental health, she’s unafraid to explore difficult topics and her heart on sleeve approach serves her well.

As always, Lucy’s setlist had a generous helping of her older material and she took us right back to the beginning with ‘Butterflies’. Though the response from the crowd was just as rapturous for the older tracks as it was for the newer material, such as the inspirational ‘Lucky Stars’ and ‘Lightning’ from her 2019 album, Today Was a Good Day.

As Lucy brought the tempo down for the empowering ‘Fight For It’, there was a medical emergency within the crowd that caused her and the band to pause and eventually leave the stage to give both the paramedics the space, light and quiet they needed. Lucy’s shows have always been a safe space but it’s unexpected moments like this that remind us not only of the compassion shared amongst Lucy and her fans, but also the sheer amount of love that fills the room at her shows.

Unfortunately, when Lucy returned to the stage, she was running out of time – but that didn’t stop her from delivering an encore of epic proportions. A Lucy Spraggan show wouldn’t be complete without ‘Last Night (Beer Fear)’ and she raced through the anthem, which went down a storm with the crowd. The evening came to an end with ‘Everything Changes’ – a heartfelt track that sees Lucy look back on the past decade.

With her combination of relatable lyrics and a personality as loveable as the music that she writes and performs, Lucy had the crowd in the palm of her hands for the duration of the evening, whether she was playing old songs or new. With her debut book ‘Process’ due for release in July, followed by her seventh album ‘Bodies’ just once month later, 2023 is definitely Lucy’s year – and she deserves every ounce of success that’s inevitably coming her way.

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