It is amazing and wonderful to see how loved Brandy Clark is over here in the UK. When she made her first appearance in the UK at C2C Festival 2015 only a handful of people had heard of her music – her songwriting was known but not necessarily her own material at that point. Brandy’s first performance was part of the CMA Songwriters Series right before she would be first on on the main stage during the festival. From the moment Brandy sang her first song the crowd were in awe and thus began a soon to be huge fan base. Since then Brandy’s popularity has grown rapidly and not just within the UK but all over. Her second record Big Day In A Small Town was nominated for many awards including a Grammy and her charm, wit, sass and no bulls**t attitude is admired all over.
Brandy has become a regular to the UK now and we are so glad. I didn’t manage to catch her last headline tour here sadly but was over the moon to be able to get the opportunity this time around. Heading out on various shows in Europe including being part of The CMA Songwriters series alongside Levi Hummon, Michael Tyler and Angaleena Presley, Brandy then set off for some headline shows and continues to do so this week.
I went to see Brandy in Bristol at St George’s Church and despite the horrendous weather, I was jet set to have one hell of a good time.
Brandy attracts a very diverse crowd with people of all ages in attendance which was nice to see and the venue was just so lovely and intimate.
Starting the set with Hold My Hand, the audience were cheering from the first note. Just herself, her guitar, her guitarist Miles and a lady on double bass, the setting was clear this would be one special night with insane acoustics throughout the church.
Brandy owned the room – telling us that the UK audience’s are her very favourites as are so attentive and respectful, she thanks us for our support. I took a look around the room, it was one of very few times where hardly anyone held a phone up and just watched in content from their eyes rather than a screen. The people sat on the balcony were stood up so they could enjoy it more and the overall atmosphere was just nice, warm and friendly and Brandy felt like a friend standing on stage, doing her thing and doing it bloody brilliantly.
Love Can Go To Hell was next from her Big Day In A Small Town record, everyone sang along and the night was just beginning.
With a Brandy show, you will always get humour, you will get drinkin’ songs and you will get high….on energy.
The set list was perfection. We had new songs Favourite Lie and Apologies in the mix which have became fast favourites with fans over the course of the tour and I was happy to finally hear what everyone had been raving about and they definitely had good reason to.
For me, highlights included Girl Next Door which is something else live, the attitude, the sass, the female empowerment on the vocal just made this song mind blowing and when the crowd sang along loudly with the chorus, it was slightly emotional. Another highlight was Get High – one of my favourite songs of Brandy’s – I love the cool, calm, collected way that she sings her songs about pot and the lyrics always have such great and relatable meaning and pretty much every mum in the room could relate. Other songs that resonated with everyone and not just the mums, the divorcees, the bored housewives were Three Kids, No Husband, The Day She Got Divorced and Hungover. Whether you are in a stable relationship, not in a relationship, had kids or had no kids something in those lyrics spoke to you and made you laugh, cry or cry from laughing.
Another favourite of mine and yes an obvious choice at that was Stripes which she ended her set list with before her encore. Stripes is just so well crafted both lyrically and sonically and again, Brandy’s way of singing is just with such ease and honesty that it is like listening to a friend tell you about her day. Stripes is brilliant – its lyrical wit is top form and live, it is even more powerful and funny.
When Brandy left the stage the room filled with cheers and chants and then a sudden surge of foot stomping that was so loud I almost felt St George’s Church shake a little.
Returning to the stage humble and grateful, Brandy sang her previously mentioned new song Apologies and spoke of a new record she was working on and hoping that the song will be on it and then she closed with a powerfully captivating performance of Pray To Jesus which is another one I love. The night was just so incredibly pleasant with so much talent, warmth, love and energy that I would recommend everyone to go and see Brandy live now as you don’t just get a concert, you get a comedy night, a friendly environment and a memory that will last forever.
I love Brandy – She’s the kind of girl that makes country cool.
by Hannah Compton