On Saturday night I headed into London to see Lucie Silvas at the Brooklyn Bowl at the O2. Walking into the O2 bought back some brilliant memories of the C2C festival and this alone was enough to get me in the mood for a great gig, but the fact that I was seeing Lucie Silvas for the first time only heightened my anticipation.
I got to the gig early, just in time to see both of the support acts. Both Jake Morrell and Ryan O’Reilly performed enjoyable sets. Jake started with a high energy folk-rock set which set the evening off on the right foot, the highlight of which for me was a unique cover of the Beautiful South’s ‘Perfect 10’. Ryan O’Reilly was perfect in the second slot and bought a great sense of humour to the stage, telling a story about being a Jack the Ripper tour guide in Whitechapel and making it up as he went along. “Your New Man” was his highlight song for me.
After the support there was a considerable buzz going round the place as we anticipated seeing Lucie Silvas appear – and a massive roar went up when the singer, dressed completely in black, bounded onto the stage. She opened up with “How to Lose It All” and the gig was off and running. It was clear it was going to be a big night, when the packed Brooklyn Bowl crowd went mad at the end of the song. ‘Unbreakable Us’ came next and this was simply outstanding – we might have waited a long time for the singer to hit these shores again but it was already clear that it was well worth the wait.
The majority of the early set came from Lucie’s brilliant “Letters to Ghosts” album, including great versions of “Shame” and “Happy” while these were interspersed with some impressive song choices. ‘Alone’ from from her previous album stood out, while a cover of ‘That’s Alright’ really got the crowd going. Directly after this song Lucie threw her jacket off and this signaled an even better second half.
“Find a Way” came next and was quickly followed by “What You’re Made Of” and by the end of these two numbers Lucie had the London crowd in the palm of her hand. The next song was my highlight of the night, her cover of Roy Orbison’s “You Got It” – it’s not often I use the F word on social media, but that was the only word I could use to describe how good it was. You know that shiver you get when a song is that good – well I’ve still got that shiver as I’m typing these words 24 hours later.
What could follow this? How about “Letters to Ghosts”? This was incredible too, the noise level just magnificent at this point and this was the perfect song to end the set.
Of course, there was no way Lucie was going to get away without an encore and we only had to wait a minute before she came back and performed early hit “Breathe In”. The final number was the perfectly fitting and beautiful “Pull The Stars Down” and then Lucie and her excellent band exited the stage.
Sometimes there are albums that you like so much, that you actually worry that the live performance won’t match up – “Letters to Ghosts” being that good. But I needn’t have had any such worries as Lucie, though small in stature, was just a powerhouse. Half an hour after the end of the gig, a boxer named Gennady Golovkin put in an amazing performance to win a world title in the arena next door. But the only knockout performance in the O2 on Saturday night came from Lucie Silvas.
Images courtesy of Twitter user @xkellielou and Jackie Green.