Turning up a couple of hours before the show was a wise decision. When I arrived only 7 people were inside the pub. The weather was not at all great and I wasn’t relishing the prospect of having to queue outside. My fears were confirmed when everyone had to wait outside for the doors to open. At this point the rain was literally lashing down and I was soaked through. It did not help that doors did not open at 7pm. When the doors did open everyone started to trickle in. The queue was massive and the gig hadn’t sold out when it was on sale on the internet. So once everyone went in they were just waiting in the bar area waiting for the main doors to open. Once they did it wasn’t until 20.05pm until the support Silence Alliance took to the stage. Now I didn’t really take to this band the set was listenable to but the songs did not captivate me.
The person we were all here to see was Canadian born Valerie Poxleitner AKA Lights. Fans from far and wide came to this intimate concert. This was billed as a Reading warm up show and it was the main reason I purchased a ticket as I would be going to Reading on the Sunday. I had made the assumption that it was going to be ever so hot inside but I was pleasantly surprised to feel some air conditioning. I was front row to the far left. It was actually a very good spot. I had previously saw Lights supporting Owl City but this set was longer. The debut album The Listening was played in its entirety plus some other tracks. Kicking off the set was title track The Listening and after Lights greets the crowd “Hello London, how are you guys?, Oh my goodness, it’s so good to be back”. Lions was the next song on the night and t be honest it is one of my favourites. The chorus is amazing and do Lions really make you brave? There were a few cheers as soon as February Air started. It is a softer song and the vocals are stunning. Lights was on the keytar for this song. What followed next was the upbeat new single Second Go. It is also uptempo and everyone was singing along to this song. Following on was the catching mellowing Saviour then it was Ice. After Lights went to the keyboard which was right in front of me. “I want to give it back and give you guys some candy because I can’t eat it all”. Lights then gave me this tub of Haribo to share along the crowd. She then took some gummi bears and I was trying to pass the tub back but no one was taking. In the end I just took the tub and threw the remaining contents into the crowd. What followed after was Pretend. It was beautiful and was played at a slow tempo. I do really love songs which are stripped down and the fact it was just her on stage made it special. Romance Is which was taken from the Acoustic EP was next. Some people wanted this song played after there was a banner saying play this song.
This song was written when she was younger and a bit emo. The final song of the acoustic set was a brand new song which will be on the second Lights instalment. The song which was Cactus In The Valley was written in London when she was tired and bottom of the barrel. It was then onto Quiet which is Lights favourite song. I must admit I really enjoy the beat of the song and the lyrics fit perfectly. Next a request was fulfilled this was Face Up which had been shouted out before Romance Is. I liked this song it was very poppy. River is a catchy song with some brilliant verses and a upbeat chorus. The Last Thing On Your Mind is a softer power pop song and it ended a wonderful night of fantastic music. When Lights went offstage there were chants of “We Want More”. So Lights and the other two members returned for Drive My Soul. This song got a cheer when Lights started to sing it. Before she said “OK you guys gotta promise me you’re going to sing”. True to word everyone sung along to this song. “Sing it coz I don’t know it” Lights told the crowd during the song. Still it was a really good closing number as it was a crowd pleaser. The atmosphere was incredible and everyone had their hand in the air. Right at the end the crowd was chanting the remaining bit of the song it was so surreal. Once over there was a rapture of applause when Lights and the rest of her band went offstage.
Cactus In The Valley
The Last Thing On Your Mind
Drive My Soul
OVERALL: I enjoyed this night lots. The fact that the whole album was sung was wonderful and the new song Cactus In The Valley was fantastic. After the set finished I managed to get the set list and meet Lights after a few people were waiting where the dressing room was. She then came upstairs and hung round the merch stall meeting fans.