LIVE: Lucy Spraggan - Arts Club, Liverpool, 06/11/2021

LIVE: Lucy Spraggan – Arts Club, Liverpool, 06/11/2021

Earlier this year, singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan released Choices – her sixth and most empowering album yet. The pandemic unfortunately put a stop to Lucy’s original plans, which were to release the album last October and tour it the following month, though based on the album charting at number five and her recent show at Liverpool’s Arts Club, they were both more than worth the wait!

If you’ve heard Lucy’s music before, you’ll know that she’s extremely talented – especially when it comes to storytelling. Since the release of Join The Club in 2013, she’s explored different genres, delved into the unknown and delivered tracks that explore difficult topics; including mental health, Alzheimer’s, suicide and relationship breakdowns. For her current tour, she’s crafted a setlist that sees her take the audience through a timeline of her career – an interesting concept that her heart on sleeve approach makes work, with stories and crowd interaction in between each track.

Joined by keyboardist Josh Cana, Lucy kicked the evening off with the contemplative ‘Mountains’ – a song inspired by a chance meeting she had with an elderly lady in a train station. Next up was the heart-breaking ‘Tea and Toast’, before she launched into ‘Last Night (Beer Fear)’ – the track that started it all when she wowed the X Factor judges and audience with it during her first audition. ‘Last Night (Beer Fear)’ has become quite the anthem, so it was no surprise when it went down a storm with the crowd and left Lucy beaming from ear to ear – with her admitting that before the pandemic, she was getting tired of playing it but after the live music drought, she’d happily play it for an hour straight. The final track of the Join The Club era was the rousing ‘Lighthouse’, which was released as the albums leading single in 2013.

After telling the tale of being dropped by her label – despite the success of Join The Club – Lucy went on to talk about how she started her own label to release her second album, We Are, before launching into it’s appropriately titled leading single, ‘Unsinkable’. Often a set closer, it is a remarkable live track that highlights some of Lucy’s most intimate lyrics and always sees a sea of fists in the air in unison – something that was breathtaking to see in such a gorgeous little venue. When paying tribute to her third album – I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing – Lucy put all awkwardness aside whilst telling the crowd how it was written when she was married. Showing her strength and personal growth, she discussed her choice to still play older material that’s about people from her past – explaining that despite being focused on the future, it was important not to forget how she felt during the times that she wrote certain songs. A perfect example of this was her next song, ‘Grown Up’, which is a smart and introspective meditation on growing up.

Orchestrating mass singalongs with the feel good single ‘Lucky Stars’ and the captivating ‘Lightning’, Lucy reached her fifth album, Today Was a Good Day about half way through the set. ‘Lightning’ is a positive song about taking life and running with it, so it didn’t surprise us when Lucy delivered it alongside one of her best stories of the night – one in which she shared her desire to have her funeral before she dies so she can party with her nearest in dearest, as it’s not often that they’re all in the same room together and that’s something that we should change. During her Today Was a Good Day tour, Lucy treated the crowd to (and digitally released) a stripped back cover of The Proclaimers classic ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ – a cover that was amazing to see back in her setlist as not only does it support her reputation as a musical genius, but it also showcases the strength of her vocals and just how stunning a voice she has.

Last but certainly not least were four tracks from her latest album, Choices – whilst the downtempo ‘Choices (Don’t Be Afraid)’ and ‘Sober’ showcased her vulnerable side and had us tearing up, ‘Run To The Hills’ and ‘Run’ both offered the upbeat melodies and catchy choruses that we’ve been waiting to sing back to her in a packed venue since the album’s release in February. Based on these four tracks alone, it’s easy to see how skilled Lucy is when it comes to crafting a setlist!

After leaving the stage to rapturous applause that we were sure was never going to stop, Lucy and Josh returned with ‘Wait For Me’ – only the second encore of the tour so far. Not every artist could pull off what Lucy is on her current tour and it was nothing short of amazing to see her take us on a trip through her career – including the songs, stories and the constant rapport with the crowd that she kept up throughout the set.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.