Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018

Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018Sigrid @ O2 Academy, 4th November 2018

Oli Fox starts tonight’s proceedings, dressed in a silver jacket which is, apparently, to make him look more interesting than he really is and seemingly not fully confident on stage in front of a near sell-out crowd. His brand of pop comes from the land of Sam Smith with a smooth nasal sound, wide vocal range and safe electro beats that permeate throughout the venue.  The brief set includes his latest single Cruel which is a slick pop song that is receiving air play on Radio 1 and is well-received by the audience.  I am certain Oli Fox will achieve a level of success as he produces commercially viable pop music, however, his sound doesn’t bring anything new to the table and his insecurity on stage made me feel uncomfortable for him especially as he ends his set asking for feedback.

Sigrid, on the other hand, erupts onto the stage like a firecracker, bouncing exuberantly across the width of the venue whilst unleashing her Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch is her latest single about the impact that someone can have on you and lays down her intention for the next 75 minutes, high energy, enthusiasm and fantastic vocals. This twenty-two year old Norwegian has truly made an impact in 2018 by winning BBC Sound Of … and NME Best New Artist. Despite these accolades, my daughter is the one that has brought Sigrid to my attention by constantly playing her hits at home and even though I was aware of how competent she is at writing a pop tune, I have to admit to being unsure about how good her live performance would be. Needless to say, one track in and Sigrid is eradicating any fears. The sound provided by the differing musicians on stage is immense and effectively mixed to ensure Sigrid’s magnificent vocals carry easily throughout the room supported by superb backing harmonies. 

Sigrid has carefully placed her more commercially successful hits at key points throughout the set for maximum effect, encouraging the audience to participate. Plot Twist sees the crowd singing along with “shots fired” as Sigrid urges the response from Birmingham (pronounced correctly) to get louder whilst I Don’t Buy It has the band leading the whole venue in clapping along.

 

Throughout the set, there isn’t a moment when Sigrid doesn’t have a smile on her face and she appears genuinely overwhelmed by the fervent response she is deservedly receiving, furthermore her zest seems to be enhanced by the audience’s warmth. Sigrid isn’t solely the master of upbeat tracks, she shows her competency for a slower paced number as evidenced with Dynamite and a solo version of Focus that is her, a keyboard and a venue awash with phone torches. I hadn’t heard Go To War before and yet the thundering tribal drumming and lyrical repetition of the song title were incredibly powerful and made this a highlight of an awesome set. The concert ends with Strangers that has the entire Academy moving and singing, relishing the spirited performance that they have witnessed. 

Sigrid has a real talent for crafting fantastic pop songs that are catchy without being cheesy, positive without being sickly and all with utter integrity. Add to this her quirky dance moves, powerful vocals and likeable disposition and you have one dominant force and I think she is exactly what the commercial music industry is in need of and I am certain that Sigrid Raabe is here for the long haul. 

Set List

Sucker Punch
In Vain
Schedules
Plot Twist
Raw
High Five
Dynamite
I Dont Want to Know
Haunted
I Don’t Buy It
Fake Friends
Savage in Our Blood
Go to War
Don’t Kill My Vibe

Encore

Focus
Credit
Strangers

Reviewer: Toni Woodward

Photographer: Chris Bowley

 

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