As Friday evenings go, mine last evening (August 31st) was just about the best it could get. I was lucky enough to attend the SkyLine Series concert in Bristol at the O2 Academy to watch the brilliant Ward Thomas’ opening set. The girls were first on stage before Imelda May, and headline act Texas.
Catherine and Lizzy arrived on stage at 5.45pm just when the venue was starting to fill up. Due to the early start it was around three songs in to their set by the time there was a healthy crowd in attendance and the O2 was almost full, there was a happy and relaxed atmosphere and they received rapturous applause.
They kicked off their barnstorming set with the fabulous ‘Same Love’ which is a new track that will feature on their upcoming third studio album ‘Restless Minds‘ which will drop on October 5th. This is one of the most exciting songs on the new LP and really showcases Ward Thomas’ musical growth. They then went into their massive hit single ‘Guilty Flowers’ although it got off to a shaky start due to a slight technical issue with the sound but the twins didn’t let it phase them and sound was soon fixed and it became a huge crowd pleaser.
Their 45 minute set also included fan favourites ‘Cartwheels’ and ‘Carry You Home’, plus new singles ‘Lie Like Me’ and ‘I Believe In You’ which were sang back to the girls by the Bristol crowd with gusto. I have now seen Ward Thomas live on several occasions and each time they seem to get better and better and last night was no different.
It’s been amazing to see how much their confidence has grown since I saw them live for the first time back in 2016 in Cardiff, and Catherine in particular now seems so much more at ease on stage and both have a great rapport with the audience. It’s also great to see the girls moving around the stage although I did miss the addition of Catherine and Lizzy playing guitars yesterday.
Their stellar set last night was also extended by 10 minutes which drew huge cheers from the crowd. The girls had belted out new album tracks ‘No Filter’, and ‘One More Goodbye’, plus performed a sensational cover of the Maren Morris and Zedd hit ‘The Middle’ before they thanked the crowd for coming out so early to see them play and then announced that their massive hit single ‘Carry You Home’ would be their last of the night. This is always a huge fan favourite and the Bristol audience sang along in full voice.
The duo were then walking off stage to rapturous applause and cheering before their band told them they had some time left. So Lizzy happily announced that they had another 10 minutes, this news drew huge cheers from the crowd. Although the girls did joke that they didn’t know what they were doing now as they usually finish with ‘Carry You Home’.
Their impromptu 10 minutes included another new track ‘It’s Not Just Me’ which is a truly wonderful song about knowing you are not alone in any struggles you may be facing, before they closed out with their truly mesmerising cover of Years and Years’ hit ‘Shine’.
After Ward Thomas exited the stage to thunderous applause, I made my way to the stage door where after an hours wait Catherine and Lizzy came out and happily posed for photos and stopped for a chat. They have a wonderful way of not making anything feel rushed and always take time to ask about your journey, the show, and are always gracious with their time.
Overall last night was a stellar showcase from Ward Thomas who proved that they are well and truly two of the most talented singer/songwriters around at the moment. The tracks off ‘Restless Minds’ are sensational and highlight the incredible musical growth the pair have taken in the past two years. This LP is one of the most anticipated of the year and these new songs are proof that the excitement is very much deserved.