Walking into Berlin’s Tempodrom on the first Monday of May, you can tell that Lucy Rose’s show tonight is different from most.
For starters, the crowd have made themselves comfortable on the steps that encircle the room and many have set up on cushions right in front of the stage. Somehow, this already feels like a living room gig.
Lucy Rose, the 29-year-old folk singer from Warwickshire, UK, acknowledges this when she takes to the stage alongside her four-piece backing band. Noting the larger pop concert going on in the room next door, she is predictably self-deprecating in her humour. “I feel bad that you’re not going to have any fun,” she jibes, to the appreciation of the crowd.
“I feel bad that you’re not going to have any fun,” she jibes, to the appreciation of the crowd.
What Rose means by this is that her latest album, this year’s No Words Left, was her toughest to write to date. She starts the night with ‘Solo(w)’ from that album, the starkness of the piano and the vulnerability of Rose’s unmistakable voice providing a fitting introduction.
Not missing a beat, the band move into ‘Second Chance’, one of many songs tonight made even more impressive than their recorded versions. The bassist, guitarist, violinist and percussionist magnify the impact of Rose’s voice, as she herself switches between piano and various guitars.
The more solomn songs from No Words Left – ‘Treat Me Like A Woman’ and ‘Conversation’ stand-out – manage to sit comfortably alongside the warmer tracks from 2017’s Something’s Changing. They may have sounded a little less coherent next to Rose’s two earlier albums, and songs from these are largely left out.
The show is perfectly weighted, with the most magical moment saved for the end.
The show is perfectly weighted, with the most magical moment saved for the end. Rose asks the audience if anyone would like to help her sing ‘Shiver’. A girl volunteers and our hearts are collectively in our mouths as the song begins. She opens her mouth. Her voice is impeccable. We go wild. Someone spills their drink on me.
“What the hell?’ asks Rose in wonderment.
Support act Samantha Crain (also an incredible voice well worth hearing in her own right next time she’s in town) rejoins the stage for one final duet before the band draws the night to a close.