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LIVE: Lucy Spraggan – Academy 1, Manchester, 16/05/2024

Last year was a busy one for Lucy Spraggan. Not only did the singer-songwriter release her seventh studio album, but she published her must read memoir, Process: Finding My Way Through. Having already supported James Blunt on tour this year, she’s currently in the midst of a her own tour that sees her play iconic venues across the UK, including Glasgow’s Barrowlands and Nottingham’s Rock City. We caught her on her third show in, over at Manchester Academy.

Lucy tends to alternate between touring with a full band and performing acoustically. With it being her first headline tour since last May, we were treated to the full band experience and they kicked the set off with the gentle guitar pluckings of ‘Breathe’ – a track about facing your fears from her 2019 album, Today Was a Good Day. Continuing the set guitar-less, Lucy transported us to the beginning of her career with ‘You’re Too Young’. Written when she was just fifteen years old, the track is the perfect encapsulation of her skills as a lyricist and her rapid delivery of said lyrics left us nothing short of awestruck. 

A natural storyteller, Lucy curated her setlist to reflect the highs and lows of her life, featuring the songs she wrote during those pivotal moments. After a blistering rendition of ‘Last Night (Beer Fear)’ – the song that started it all – she delighted the crowd with a humorous anecdote about what led her to write ‘Blues Song’, before delivering a sublime performance of the clever track which serves as both a parody of the blues genre and an acoustic blues track.


After discussing how the sea became a prevalent theme in her songwriting during a particular phase of her career, Lucy played two crowd favourites that further heightened the atmosphere – ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Unsinkable’. Inspired by her early days busking, the touching ‘Tea and Toast’ followed. Though a staple in Lucy’s sets, she still managed to surprise us and this time it was piano infused – a rework that intensified its emotional nature and set us up for the next two tracks. 

Written about body dysmorphia and Lucy’s owns struggles with her body image, ‘Bodies’ was always going to be present a tear-jerking moment, but the tears didn’t end there. Before the next track – the powerful ‘Sober’ – even began, there were hundreds of fans held up signs with “always with you” written on them. Written about Lucy’s previous reliance on alcohol and decision to go sober, the acoustic-led track showed her at her most vulnerable and the chorus in particular truly highlighted the sheer strength of her vocals.


After raising the tempo with the uplifting ‘Run’, Lucy brought it back down with ‘Cocaine’ and ‘Balance’. Unafraid to tackle difficult topics, Lucy’s transparency serves her well, with the latter offering one of the most reflective moments of the evening. The anthemic ‘Lucky Stars’ followed, receiving a raucous reaction that ensured the energy offstage matched that onstage, before Lucy introduced a new track to the mix. Titled ‘Other Side of the Moon’, the romantic track tells the tale of Lucy and her fiancé Emilia’s relationship and is due for release on the happy couple’s wedding day next month. Delivering a heartwarming moment, her performance of the slow-paced track exuded her love for Emilia and the sheer joy she feels in life at the moment. 

Crowd participation has always been a huge part of Lucy’s shows and two of her catchiest tracks were responsible for triumphantly ending the main set – ‘Not Another Travelling Song’ and ‘Lightning’. Adding to the electric vibes pulsating through the crowd, the latter saw a venue full of people waving their torches on their phones, creating a sea of lights. Lucy wasted no time returning to the stage, literally bouncing back on for her final track, the empowering ‘Fight For It’. A fight song amongst her fans, this particular performance of it benefitted from a full band as its tempo gradually increased, culminating into something truly wonderful.

With numerous festival appearances over the Summer and an album of reworked tracks coming next year, things are in full swing for Lucy. Always one for delivering a high energy set, she’s an artist who truly relishes every moment on stage and we’ll tell you one thing, you can always count on there being magic in the air at her shows.

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.