Review: Låpsley – 5th March 2016, Manchester Academy 2

She’s been compared to the likes of James Blake and Adele, but Låpsley is much more than a comparison – she stands on her own merits.

A brief introduction: Holly Lapsley Fletcher, known by the stage name of Låpsley, was born in 1996 (!!) in York and raised in Southport. In the Summer of 2014, she performed on the Introducing stage at Glastonbury and later in the year she was revealed as one of the artists on the BBC Sound of…2015 list which was eventually awarded to Years and Years. Since then, she’s been recording her debut album which was released on XL Records at the beginning of March 2016.

Arriving on stage to a packed out crowd in Manchester she opened with ‘Burn’, a track which was a B-Side to the original release of ‘Hurt Me’ last year. The track serves as a great introduction to the crowd, as it not only is a great introduction to her voice and style but also to what’s to come with the rest of the set. The start of the song is mellow and then halfway through it starts to kick in.

The soulful and attitude-packed ‘Tell Me The Truth’ which ups the ante a bit further closely followed by one of my favourite tracks from the album ‘Cliff’, which makes me think of something that the XX would produce if they were a little bit poppier.

For fans of her earlier stuff, she sure does pack in a few hidden gems here and there in the form of ‘Painter’ and ‘8896’. It’s at this point where Låpsley shows her most vulnerable self as her band disappears and let her take centre stage all on her own, with only a piano for assistance. She’s clearly in awe of how big of a crowd has turned out but manages to keep it together and lets her personality shine when she blurts out her admiration for the set, noting that the diamond-esque lighting behind her looks “a bit like a vagina”.

As expected, current single ‘Love is Blind’ felt anthemic in its live setting. It’s a rowsing power balad and swung all emotion into the room. Låpsley really didn’t hold back when it came to delivering her powerful vocals. The closing song from the show came in the shape of ‘Hurt Me’, which also managed to pack the emotion and by far had the biggest response from the audience, with pretty much most of the crowd singing back to her. It definitely felt like we were watching the start of a career of someone special.

This is the start of great things to come for Låpsley. She’s set to have a great year ahead if she continues the way she’s going at the moment. Her live show was at times raw and affecting, and then uplifting and joyful at others.

She may only be 19 years old, but it definitely doesn’t show. After watching her live, you come out thinking she’s a seasoned pro. If you have the chance to see her live, make sure you do – even if it’s just to decide whether the lights are depicting diamonds or vaginas.

PS. Apologies for the dodgy camera, it’s all I had on me at the time. Blurryness makes it more authentic thought, AMIRITE?

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