Clare Maguire @ KCLSU 31st March 2011

After having supported The Script Birmingham’s very own Clare Maguire embarked on her first headline tour. This 9 date tour kicked off with a sold out show at the 600 capacity Kings College Student’s Union. Supporting bands like Hurts and The Script did have a positive impact on Maguire’s career as it amassed more new fans. Also she now has the experience of playing in the big arenas.

At 9.15pm it was time for the headline act. Clare graced the stage while Are You Ready? (which served as the introduction) was played. Maguire was wearing a long lacy black dress and then launched into the Breakage Remix of Ain’t Nobody. This song is amazing song and the remix has a slight dubstep vibe. Clare’s vocals were amazing and she belted out this song. It was clear to see that Maguire was revelling in the atmosphere.  “Thankyou” she then said to the crowd before getting stuck into the forthcoming single Shield And The Sword. This song has to be one of my many favourites from Light After Dark it is powerful and has catchy lyrics. This time she no longer points into the crowd when singing the line “I no longer love you”. Freedom is next on the night. Not only is this haunting song sung perfectly but the harmonising is spot on. Following on was I Surrender and it was clear to see that Maguire was having a blast when singing to this sold out audience. The crowd were definately pumped up during this song. You’re Electric was next and this went down a treat. This song showed off Maguire’s stunning vocal range. It was then onto Sweet Lie which was a first for me as I have never witnessed hearing it performed live. The beautiful ballad Bullet was next. Now I loved this song and it was delivered perfectly by Clare. Midnight Caller, which was a Chase And Status collaboration was next and i was a real treat to hear it performed live. Break These Chains was then belted out before the Itunes only track Burn. “Come On” Maguire said before launching into this song. The lyrics were amazing and the chorus was fantastic. There were plenty of people singing along to every single note.

The penultimate song being Happiest Pretenders and there were plenty of people moving about to this song. The song that ended capped off a wonderful night was my personal highlight. Maguire was solo for this song and this being the spine tingling, tear jerking This Is Not The End. The song is also very soulful and amazing at the same time. Clare then left the stage only to return moments later with the rest of the band sporting a black headpiece which one fan threw onto the stage. “I couldn’t just leave you” Maguire told the crowd before launching into a cover by gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. In fact Rosetta is Maguire’s biggest insperation of a female artist. Still Trouble In Mind was superbly sung and this version did blow me away. I hadn’t heard the original version of the song but it had the same feel to it like At Last by Etta James. This was truly a remarkable cover which Maguire completely nailed. Mess You Around which will be released on the Wah Wah 45’s record label was the penultimate encore song. Everyone was clapping in complete unison during this song which Maguire belted out. Ending the night was a song everyone was expecting. This being the current single Last Dance. If I was to save my last dance for somebody based on that performance it would be for Clare Maguire.

SET LIST

Ain’t Nobody
Shield And The Sword
Freedom
I Surrender
You’re Electric
Sweet Lie
Bullet
Midnight Caller
Break These Chains
Burn
Happiest Pretenders
This Is Not The End

ENCORE

Trouble In Mind
Mess You Around
Last Dance

OVERALL: This night at the intimate KCLSU was extremely wonderful. Vocally Clare was pitch perfect. There is no doubt in my mind that Maguire has what it takes to become huge. So far this year she has supported Hurts on there UK tour and some European dates. Clare has also supported The Script as well as supporting Chase and Status for one night at The Roundhouse. I expect Maguire to be headlining either Koko, Shepherd’s Bush or Scala when the second headline tour is announced.

There was something magical about Maguire’s set at the KCLSU and I was captivated till the very end. It was lovely to hear tracks from Light After Dark sung live again. Also it was a pleasure to hear Midnight Caller and Burn. The cover of Sister Rosetta Tharpe was spine tingling and vocally sung to complete perfection.

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