Sunday 17 March 2024

Live Review: Holly Humberstone - Bristol Beacon, 15 March 2024

Amidst her biggest headline tour to date, it's evidently clear a new confidence has been formed as Holly Humberstone continues to become one of Britain's brightest new pop wunderkinds. Through her meteoritic rise to stardom, her recent Glastonbury performance in 2022 showed the vulnerabilities that artists often face as they're sky-rocketed up the bill as she nervously made her way through the show, much with the crowd's emotional support. But now, with an album in circulation, and a plethora of shows under her belt, the English singer-songwriter from Grantham returned to Bristol with a whole new poise.

Taking the stage with an air of quiet confidence, as the lights dimmed and a giant cobweb lit up, embellished with her name, Humberstone captivated the audience from the moment she stepped into the spotlight. As cheers filled the room to the sounds of her debut album's title track ‘Paint My Bedroom Black’. There was no time to catch your breath though as she quickly launched in to the punchy "Into your Room" as it carried forth the pace with her earnest vocals and dazzling production values that truly came to life in the live environment.

With each song, expertly arranged and performed, with intricate melodies and dynamic shifts that kept the audience on the edge of their seats, her sound has transcended from its soft beginnings in to a towering pop powerhouse of energy. From delicate acoustic numbers to powerful crescendos, Humberstone and her band showcased their versatility and musicianship throughout.

Highlights of the evening included performances of fan favourites such as "Vanilla" and "Falling Asleep at the Wheel," as well as a captivating rendition of "Dive" from her recently released 'Work in Progress' EP. However, it was during the stripped-back moments that Humberstone truly shone, with a solo performance of "Deep End" that allowed her raw talent and vulnerability to take centre stage.

With her soul-stirring vocals, heartfelt songwriting, and magnetic stage presence, the night was always going to be an intense affair but nothing could have quite prepared me for what unfolded. From her gut wrenching lyrics detailing heartbreak, loss and coming of age, all in its painstaking relatability, to the stimulating chord changes and kaleidoscopic soundscapes, no stone was left unturned as the crowd became awash with emotion. 

And as the band returned for their two track encore consisting of Friendly Fire and Scarlet, there was no doubt the evening would end with a bang as the crowd became whipped in to a frenzy as flailing hands that formed heart-shaped symbols punctuated the air. A beautiful sentiment for an evening well spent amongst the emotionally charged, raw bedroom pop that has so seamlessly transposed to these large room venues in effortless fashion. Showing no signs of slowing her trajectory, the only question left now is, where next?


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