Part of Norwegian singer Sigrid’s appeal is how natural and stripped back she looks reflecting her music and her country’s landscape. In some songs you can imagine her music travelling over the vast, majestic fjords and bouncing off the mountains.
Her tiny frame and stature is deceptive because, like the fjords, she has a wealth of range, imagination and confidence which were all displayed last night at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.
As the main act last year at Glasgow’s O2 Academy the atmoshpere for Sigrid’s gig was electric in such a packed venue where the music literally bounced off the walls but at the Hydro last night, where the standing and seating fills thousands, for a support act the audience slowly trickle in filling up for main act George Ezra so the whole feel is incredibly different.
Sigrid’s songs can be poppy or electro ballads (let’s hope this made up term catches on) and wearing her comfortable looking trainers for bopping about the stage and her little sparkly black top, I couldn’t help feeling with such a cavernous venue there could have been some sort of visual on stage or at least a spotlight on her. Every time she moved away from the central stage spot – which happened a lot as this artist has ants in her pants – she was standing in the dark and I’m sure half the audience, like myself, were squinting their eyes, as if by magic that would help us see better.
A support’s budget usually doesn’t stretch anywhere near the bottomless purse pit of the main act but just a little something to let Sigrid sparkle like a rough diamond chipped away from the Norwegian mountains would have been nice because this singer has plenty of writing, singing and arranging talent to take her far and away.
There were dreamy songs about swimming in the ocean with lovely laid back beats and powerful teenage angst Don’t Kill My Vibe with ‘…don’t treat me like a child…’ lyrics.
With such a convincing attitude on stage noone’s going to misjudge you Sigrid.
Level Up was a sweet song that had hints of George Ezra’s purity and innocence about it.
All in, Sigrid’s support performance was incredible, but with a big venue, just a touch with more lighting and an extra height boost to make her look a little bit more prominent on stage would have worked well.
George Ezra, on the other hand, had beautiful, breathtaking visuals that made you feel happy enough to listen to the man who had quite a number of anecdotes on how his song idea, name or lyrics were inspired.
His act started with an alarm clock radio going off at 7am to introduce George. If that doesn’t re-emphasise Jack Whitehall’s over the top ‘Milky Bar’ kid label (Jack interviewed George at the Brits and ordered milk to be delivered to him and Ezra during the interview) and clean cut image I don’t know what will.
So, perhaps to shake that image, George shocked us all with use of the F-word three whole times. Funny thing is, it still didn’t tarnish his wholesomeness reflected by his songs of hope and love. (in fact I’m still kidding myself on he didn’t really swear)
George recalled how he stayed in Barcelona in a stranger’s flat he had connected with through the internet and how he would wander through the streets of the beautiful Spanish city or wander half way up a mountain looking down on the beautiful public gardens and write the lyrics to Pretty Shining People and Barcelona when he returned home.
His thousands of adoring fans in the audience (moi aussi) sang with him…’will we all be loved, the answer is easy’ over and over again. If that doesn’t make for a feelgood evening concert I don’t know what does (perhaps a night at a gospel church singing Hallelujah or Pharell’s ‘Happy’ – I’ve thought this through).
Ezra’s deep, macho voice would work perfectly as a cowboy film soundtrack. The singer retold another story while he was travelling along the west coast of America …”everybody was having a lovely time, the sky was blue and then I got sick…” ‘Awwwww’ retorted thousands of voices.
Then he sang a song affectionately known as ‘Song Six’ as he never quite got round to naming it.
Midway through the concert, fifty (I counted) large lit lanterns were dangled from the ceiling venue to create a more intimate, magical feel – it worked perfectly.
The liveliest and most upbeat song, Blame It One Me, was held off until closer to the end of the concert as was the mini brass band upping their tempo. It created a livelier carnivale effect and left everyone elated and on a high by the end of the evening.
I would still prefer a more intimate venue for Sigrid but it was an amazing gig all in.
review by Susie Daniels