As Sheffield’s Lucy Spraggan’s acoustic tour hit Shepherd’s Bush, it is clear she is an incredible storyteller.
But it is not just the power of lyrics.
She can also tell a story with emotional body language. She moves her hands up, down, together and apart – then to her heart.
And when you look into her eyes, even for a second, you melt.
Lucy, who lived in the Steel City before she shot to fame on TV talent show The X Factor in 2012, is a versatile performer.
Her song about her favourite TV show that comes from Manchester – Jeremy Kyle – might be playful and cheery, but she can adapt and sing serious lyrics.
The song Dear You was dedicated for anyone suffering with mental health issues.
Accompanied by keyboard player, Matt Bramhall, she explained to the London crowd that she wrote Papercuts after hearing some intense stories from a friend who is a teacher.
“Not even an adult should go through this let alone kids,” she tells the Bush Hall crowd.
It is a truly dark song with references to “belt-buckle struggles” and “monsters too big to be demons”.
Papercuts is a powerful reminder children can live in fear in places they should expect safety .
Lucy, originally from Buxton, explains the song Home is about when you are at work and have a feeling you have to go home.
Support came from rising Yorkshire band The Dunwells, launching their album, Light Up the Sky. They warned the audience Lucy would expect the crowd to sing and join in the chorus.
This is exactly what happened when she sang London Bound, about missing the North with lyrics such as “I miss the weddings and the birthdays of the people I love the most”.
You can only hope she does not miss her own wedding – she told the crowd she is getting married in June.
She sang Skylights, about the girl she is marrying, and encouraged the audience to get married in a register office, because seating plans were stressful.
She said it was her “least pleasure“ to perform her last song, Uninspired, about coming off The X Factor.
The song has references to being a name nobody cares for, being a face that nobody knows, and being left after being labelled.
But the London crowdd did care for her.
Not just because they were singing her songs, or because they lined up patiently afterwards for a special moment to get a selfie, or because they instantly forgave her when she may have temporarily missed the song Lighthouse
from her setlist , saying: “This was the song I was supposed to sing.”
And not only because whichever way you looked, people were wearing Lucy Spraggan hoodies, beanies and T-shirts. It was more that there was a feeling that spread through the entire venue – Lucy seemed to be their inspiration.
I am not sure if it was the last song because it included the lyrics “when the show is over”, but it was a reminder of how far Lucy has come as an artist since The X Factor.
As she said: “I was singing to three people and a dog before The X Factor.”
There are a lot more now – and with performances like this there should be even more.
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