LIVE REVIEW : Lucy Rose at the Jazz Cafe (Camden, London, 4th February 2012)

Having made the Music Liberation 'Future Sounds of 2012' list, Lucy Rose was a name we were always going to look out for during the year ahead. So when the opportunity came about to catch her playing her largest gig to date at the Jazz Cafe in Camden, we jumped at the chance. Not even the 'heavy onslaught' of snow which decided to engulf the capital the moment we set off could dampen the spirits and anticipation of checking out the young lady from Warwickshire, who in a relatively short period of time has gone from being that girl who joins Bombay Bicycle Club from time to time, to being recognised in her own right as an artist with much integrity and a clear desire and confidence to put out her own ideas.

Taking to the stage with a collection of musicians who intermittently appear from one song to the next, Lucy gets things going with 'Middle Of The Bed', a track we reviewed last November, and a track which neatly demonstrates how infectious her music is. I suppose you could put her in the 'acoustic' bracket, however there is a growing sense of intensity that builds within her songs, emanating from the different instruments which surround Lucy's own fine guitar playing. Whilst her vocals steal the headlines, both from a songwriting perspective and sonically, the music behind her is also of such a standard and complexity that the combination is really quite mesmerising. With the Jazz Cafe completely sold out (and apparently over sold with some ticket holders turned away at the door) the atmosphere inside was for want of a better word, special.

Lucy seemed to grow with confidence as each song went by, not surprising with this being her biggest show to date, and a gig at which she thought 'only 20 people' would show up at! Mixing some older songs with new, highlights included 'Gamble' (for the record Lucy confirmed she does NOT have a problem with gambling), 'Rocking Newbie' (a working title for a song which had its debut live airing), and 'Don't You Worry' (a track which you might have heard during the latest episode of Skins, if you're like me and still watch it that is). My favourite track of the night would have to be 'Shiver', a beautifully simple song that really puts the spotlight on Lucy's ethereal vocals which draw you in and capture your attention, in much the same way as her contemporaries of the moment Daughter, Gabrielle Aplin, and Kyla La Grange.

All too soon the show is over, finishing with her latest single 'Red Face', however we do get treated to what Lucy says is her first ever encore, with the time stopping 'First' capturing everyones attention one last time. To emphasise how enthralling the gig was one member of the crowd even asked Lucy to play 'Middle Of The Bed' to which she replied "that is a classic but I've already played that one!" This is actually another side to Lucy which developed during the show, her ability to communicate with the crowd on a level that was quite endearing, with her strong stage presence being quite refreshing for someone so young. So all in all a superb gig, and the subsequent battle getting home with the snow and apparent inability of the tube network to deal with it seemed to matter little after witnessing such an enthralling performance.

With her debut album currently being recorded and a trip to America supporting Bombay Bicycle Club to look forward to, Lucy Rose has a very exciting year ahead of her, and we at Music Liberation are certainly looking forward to hearing and watching more of her in the months to come.

Lucy Rose // The Jazz Cafe  // LucyRose.Net (excellent fansite for Lucy)