Lucie Silvas – The Exchange, Bristol – Live Review

Lucie Silvas – The Exchange, Bristol, Live Review

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Lucie is truly the quintessential singer, frankly incomparable to any other artist. In fact, I would go as far as to say Lucie is one of the best singers in the Country music industry today.

By Hannah Compton

Live Photos by Natalie Christian

For the last couple of months, I have felt very proud to be British, with our country coming second on the leaderboard at the 2016 Rio Olympics – and for having singer/songwriter Lucie Silvas, who was born in Kingston-Upon-Thames, but lives in Nashville.

Last night, just off the ring road in Bristol, at a tiny dark venue called The Exchange, in a room with a capacity of around 250 people – I experienced an evening so good that I almost find it hard to put into words. With the exception of a one off gig in January this year, it had been ten years since Lucie’s last tour here, so you can imagine the anticipation and buzz that filled the air that evening.image

Standing at the back, to allow hardcore fans to be close to their idol, I still had a top priced spot, as the venue was so intimate. The stage itself was fairly high, which made a huge difference for me, as there’s usually a parade of the tallest people on the planet standing in front of me, blocking my view.

Having just spoken to Lucie barely an hour prior to the doors opening, I was already excited, not to mention having listened to her album Letters To Ghosts repeatedly for weeks.

Listen to Letters to Ghosts by Lucie Silvas on @AppleMusic.
https://itun.es/gb/Adqieb

First, we were treated with a wonderful support artist called Jon Green, from the band Bonfires – and also part of Lucie’s touring band. Jon took to the stage with just his guitar and warmed the already over-heated crowd (as the venue was boiling) rather well. With a great sense of humour, Jon had the crowd in the palm of his hand before he even began to sing. imageDescribing his job as a hobby, he explained that he writes for other musicians and one song that stood out in particular was a song titled Catapult which was recorded by Jack Savoretti and was widely successful. It’s, such a great song and Jon’s version did not disappoint. Jon has a very smooth, sweet-sounding, gentle tone to his voice that was very soothing. His music was beautiful and enjoyable, and his lyrics were poetic. Telling the audience about his band – The Bonfires – Jon admitted that the band tonight is in fact, just him and made a few jokes saying “our” next song is Same Heart, which made the audience giggle. Jon’s entire set was excellent with truly impressive songs which I will most certainly be looking up and listening to. He ended his set saying, ‘See you in about twenty minutes in this exact spot, as I am part of Lucie’s band.’ I was sad for his set to be over but at the same time I was eagerly awaiting Lucie’s set.

We didn’t have to wait long before the band arrived on stage and got the crowd energised by playing the intro to the very catchy How To Lose It All. A fun up-tempo song with a rhythmic beat, this song got the crowd clapping along, encouraging Lucie’s arrival.

Lucie skipped on stage wearing all black and looking lovely, despite the humidity of the room making her newly straightened hair go wavy. Never having seen her live before, I did not know what to expect, but it soon became clear that Lucie’s voice is near perfect. With an infectious personality, she was interacting with the audience as if they were family. Some actually were family; some close friends and some were fans who have followed Lucie’s career since the very beginning.image

Lucie projects her voice in such a way that it fills the room and bounces off the walls. Not one person spoke throughout her set, as everyone was listening attentively – in fact I almost forgot there were other people in the room at one point.

Unbreakable Us was the second song of the night. A stunning, melodic ballad, which proved that Lucie can sing just as well live as she sounds on her cd – I would even say the cd doesn’t do her justice. My favourite song off the new album, Smoke, was played next, with Lucie on keyboards, followed by Villain, where technology was used to provide a ghostly echo to Lucie’s vocal, giving the song a chilling, haunting effect.

Another memorable song for me that night was Roots. I never fully appreciated the talent behind Lucie’s songwriting until hearing this live and having it performed so clearly and so beautifully – with the audience being so silent, I could really take in the words.image

The set list was by no means short, as she gave us a very generous selection of tunes ranging from old to new. Every song off the new album Letters To Ghosts was played, which I was very pleased about, as they are the only songs of hers I have heard, apart from her singles What You’re Made Of and Breathe In.

The energy rose even more during a newly written and really exciting Country song Two Birds One Stone. This song had a huge amount of ‘twang’ and was co-written with husband John Osborne of the very popular country duo Brothers Osborne. I cannot wait to get my hands on a recorded version. The atmosphere was even more upbeat during cover of Elvis Presley’s That’s Alright Mama.

Lucie took us back in time to her earlier career, performing What You’re Made Of, which gave me a new found respect for the song. Shamefully, I didn’t think much of it when it was released (hangs head in shame).

The night was drawing a close with a stunning, stripped back, slower version of Roy Orbison’s You Got It followed by title track off the new album Letters To Ghosts – (co written with support act Jon Green). Lucie then returned to the stage for an encore of Breathe In and ended the evening with a ballad – Pull The Stars Down.

Now, I go to a lot of gigs, not because I have to, but because I choose to. As a live music junkie, there are many shows I thoroughly enjoy, in fact there are very few if any that I do not enjoy. However, there are not many shows that you leave feeling speechless and that’s how Lucie made me feel after her show. Her performance was mesmerising and superbly entertaining. From what I can gather from the things she said on stage, and by living in Nashville, Lucie has a new zest for life – and this came out in her performance and her energy rubbed off on the crowd – and on me. This is one of the best gigs I have been to in a long time

I found myself clapping excitedly when prompted during songs as if I had been a fan for her entire career, like most of the room.

Lucie is truly the quintessential singer, frankly incomparable to any other artist. In fact, I would go as far as to say Lucie is one of the best singers in the Country music industry today.

I am certainly not alone when I say I cannot wait for Lucie’s return to the UK. We may have lost her to Nashville in terms of residency, but to have sporadic visits only makes the whole experience of seeing her live even more exciting. That being said, I hope it won’t be a ten year hiatus between each tour!

I recommend going to see Lucie Silvas live whether you are a Country music fan or not. Lucie cannot be pinpointed to one genre, as her talent so much more diverse than that. If you appreciate great music or exceptional singers then go see her. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed.

Set List

How To Lose It All

Unbreakable Us

Smoke

Villain

Alone

Shame

Happy

Just For The Record

Roots

Two Birds One Stone

That’s Alright Mama

Find A Way/

What You’re Made Of

You Got It

Letters To Ghosts

 

Encore

Breathe In

Pull The Stars Down

 

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