Thursday, November 11, 2021

The lockdown bloomer transforms her dreams into reality at the o2 Shepherds Bush Empire this November

Holly Humberstone took to the stage in west London on Monday night to be greeted by her biggest crowd so far. The 21-year-old stepped into the spotlight while the world was in covid hibernation and now this fresh faced singer-songwriter gets to experience the live music sensation for the first time. 

While it has become clear to me on my return to The Empire that the venue tends to echo the crowd noise, Silence and respect came into play amongst the audience, which was thick of couples and gen z, with the occasional parent chaperone dotted amongst the youths. 

The stage, filled with an industrial style set and a hazy smoke created a perfect entrance, where Holly took to the stage and introduced her set with ‘Vanilla’. The perfect song to please the crowd and start to warm them into the gig.

The singer was accompanied by a female drummer and standing watching as a female myself created a sense of empowerment and pride that I hope resonated with the woman around the audience.

She filled the first half of her set with soft but impressive vocal orientated tracks including songs of her new EP which is being released on November 12. 

The crowd maintained investment in the performance while she was singing but due to slight awkwardness between tracks, the audience turned back to their own conversation a number of times. Though it may have seemed a little inconsiderate, the knack of stage presence comes with experience and Holly is sure to improve her interlude chit chat in no time. 

Throughout the set the singer switches between guitar, keyboard and drum synths. Her instrumental skills confirm the undeniable talent that radiates from listening to her music. 

She then played another song from her new EP called ‘Friendly Fire’. The single gave the audience a little treat of getting to see Jack Steadman (previously from bombay bicycle club) perform this new song alongside Holly. A single destined for success. 

As the gig gets firmly into the second half, the young singer/songwriter pleases the crowd with one of her most popular songs ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’. This song created a new energy in the crowd, which could have been embraced earlier in the night but still was welcomed by the audience as everyone universally decided to let loose. 

After playing another popular song, ‘Scarlett', she left and returned for her encore. Holly addressed the awkwardness of the concert tradition which resonated with me, who always finds it unnecessary. She began her encore with a special song for her London audience which had never been played live before called ‘London is Lonely’. The crowd, coated with a gentle glitterball lighting effect, listened intently to the song which was the perfect way to lead into her highly anticipated song ‘The Walls Are Way Too Thin’. The crowd was engrossed in their word for word recall of the popular single and celebrated the new found success of this 21-year-old.

The musical performance of Holly Humberstone was a memorable moment in the beginning stages of this singer's career. While the overall show may have had a few small teething problems, it showed an exceptional start of a new music industry star.

Amber Malley


Image: ‘Holly Humberstone’ Official Artwork

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