Review: Birdy at O2 Guildhall, Southampton

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Dan Owen began the concert – a lone man with a selection of guitars and a harmonica, the crowd quickly warmed up to his mixture of poignant and funny self-penned songs. A real entertainer, Owen engaged with the crowd, showing his cheeky side by calling out a few of the fans in the audience. It’s safe to say that after his performance of heartfelt song Made to Love You, about domestic violence, the crowd were sold. Dan Owen was the perfect warm up for Birdy, especially with the last song of his set being an enthusiastic cover of the Rolling Stones’ Little Red Rooster. Surprisingly, he gave the rock legends a run for their money. A crossover between Frank Turner and Damien Rice, Dan Owen is definitely an artist to watch out for.

Soon Birdy appeared on stage; sporting flowing bohemian trousers and a glittery, mermaid-esque top, her presence brought a different atmosphere to the stage. Opening the concert with Shadow, she eased the crowd in gently, but showcased her vocal range by hitting those high notes, but added her her own touch on them by making them airy. All apart from two songs were performed with Birdy either on piano or guitar, proving once again that she isn’t just a pretty face with a good voice. The concert made the most of her musical talent and allowed her to shine in the way she can do so best, on stage.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the gig was when, introducing Broken, she dedicated it to her grandma, and told us that she was supporting her in the audience. The tone of the concert completely changed for this song, making it all the more powerful. The minimal lighting gave the effect of the entire stage being black and white, aside from Birdy, sat at her piano, who was glittering in green and powerfully performing the poignant track.

But Birdy made it clear that her set wasn’t all just about her new album. Not forgetting where she started out, she sung her renditions of the songs that made her famous: Cherry Ghost’s People Help the People, and of course, Bon Iver’s Skinny Love. The crowd absolutely loved these two songs. Everyone was singing along and had their phones out, capturing the moment.

Finally, the talented singer finished a fantastic set with what is arguably the catchiest and most well-known song on her latest album – Keeping Your Head Up. And the crowd did just that, they kept their heads up and sang along.

Birdy will be performing in Dublin, Glasgow and Bristol in the upcoming weeks, and tickets are still available, so get yours while you can!

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Law student at the University of Southampton.

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