Review: Billy Lockett at The Joiners, Southampton (05/11/2014)

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This show at local venue The Joiners is the penultimate show of Billy Lockett’s biggest headline tour so far, playing 21 dates in less than a month. Considering he is not with a label, it is an achievement to manage a tour this size.

Self-proclaimed “the sweet boy next door” and acoustic pop singer, Luke Ferre, opened for the night. He does a lot of “mouthy talk” as he said but he certainly entertained the audience in between his songs. It is quite easy to spot the style most new singer songwriters have and I was quite impressed with his guitar skills, enjoying ‘The Escape’. If Ferre keeps working on it and explores outside of his current songwriting scope, his materials would be worth keeping a tab on.

Karima Francis’s set shortly followed. Having heard her music on and off on music sessions on various YouTube channels, I knew what to expect. Her rich, low register and soulful guitar melodies silenced the audience instantly the moment she opened with ‘City Walls’. Francis’s music has a haunting quality that makes a lasting impression even after the song has finished. ‘Blue Moon’ was another track that fully demonstrated what she is capable of. Francis is also keen to talk to the audience, responding to people and wishing everyone a good Bonfire Night after the show.

Headline act Billy Lockett walked on stage to his piano and greeted the mixed crowd, which ranged from young people to middle aged groups, and even families. Most of his set was accompanied by premade backing tracks, creating a stronger presence than just himself with the piano or a guitar. Telling the audience the last time he played at the same venue there were only three people watching him perform and they were the other support act of that night, he thanked the audience for coming to watch him at his headline slot. It is very evident Lockett likes his materials and is confident with performing it. Having an attentive crowd that had come to see him perform that night and politely clapped along whenever he encouraged them showed that his music is appreciated. ‘Bad Side of Love’ was most memorable, along with ‘Fall To The Sea’, for which the audience joined him for a sing along.

Going to a gig allows you to connect to the artist, and Billy Lockett knew the importance of it. He explained the stories behind his songs, he let the audience know what participation he wanted from them, and he appeared grateful for it all.

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Although his signature vocals and witty lyrics were present in all of his songs, he still managed to maintain a range of variety.  On top of that, he tours with a piano, and I salute him for the effort. Given that the piano is a vital element in his music, it did not come as a surprise when he chose to cover Coldplay’s ‘Magic’.

It was not a particularly elating night, but rather a quiet one where you could appreciate the efforts of a budding, hard-working musician. In this time of music galore, it was pleasant to have the chance to come across less known, but still as worthy talent.

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tea & coffee fueled lifetime music fanatic and avid gig lover

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