Lucy Spraggan @ The Borderline 30th April 2013

Lucy Spraggan I have adored ever since the moment that she appeared on that reality TV programme which searches for talented musicians. From the very moment she made her first appearance in the ITV1 show I knew she had massive potential. Lucy Spraggan’s genre is A-Flop (Acoustic Folk Pop) plus each one of her songs are extremely quirky.

From that very moment I managed to track down her 2011 album Top Room At The Zoo, fell in love with it and booked the first date at The Borderline. I was actually rather lucky in getting tickets because initially it was a sell out but from constant refreshing I was able to score one. It was pretty handy as the 2nd date which was on 1st May I already had something else booked. Attending the Kings Cross, St Pancras show earlier on in the month was merely a taster of what was to come. I actually thoroughly enjoyed myself and that made me look forward to this date even more.

The day finally arrived and without having anything to look back on I turned up outside The Borderline at 2pm. This turned out to be a good decision as 5 Spraggan fans were there who I got to know during the course of the day. Around 5pm Lucy came round to the front where the 6 of us got pictures and something signed then it was the wait till 7pm. Only doors had been pushed back an hour. This then resulted in people complaining with the fact they needed to wait another hour. But what got everyone angry/ tetchy was the fact everyone needed to have a form of ID. Even if a child was accompanied by an adult they still needed to show something stating the age and the fact who they were. From my point of view that was pointless. Yes check ID’s because there was a bar but if a child is accompanied by a parent surely that would be OK. Doors then opened at 8pm, the first act Music and Spies were on at 8.15pm whist Lucy took to the stage around 9pm.

“How’s it going everyone?” Spraggan said before opening with 91. Both of her band members carried on playing whilst there was technical difficulties with Lucy’s guitar. “I only charged the battery like yesterday” Lucy said once she returned. It was then straight into 91 which was a beautiful song which was about falling in love. Spraggan sung this perfectly and this tune was easy on the ear and the band worked wonders. “Hello everyone. Firstly I would just like to say thank you so much for coming down. It’s amazing to see everybody’s faces. I never really expected to ever have a proper tour let alone sell out tour” Lucy said to the audience before introducing the band who were Matt and Alex and then she said that Paper Dreams which had just been added to the bill. This infectious and quirky song was greeted by a lot of cheers and plenty of singing along. This was an upbeat tune that had an acoustic feel to it. “Awfully nervous today. I got the shakes, not the good kind. This next song, I’ll tell you the story what I wrote it about. So I was busking one time and an elderly couple were walking down the street in front of me. They were holding hands and the old lady collapsed while the man was holding on to her her hand and he looked down at her like he never lost anything in his whole life” Lucy said before there was a whoops once she mentioned the next tune was Tea And Toast. It was no surprise that everyone sang along to every single word of this infectious tune. I found it to be slightly emotional and Tea and Toast can easily bring a tear to your eye. I really adored the story that the lyrics were telling. “I can officially confirm that I will never ever get over anyone singing Tea and Toast back to me” Lucy said once this emotional song was over. “It’s about a merchant Navy sailor from World War 2 who misses the sea. He’s grown up” Spraggan said before getting stuck into Rockcliffe Bay. Whilst this is a new song to me, it actually isn’t because it was a number which she wrote ages ago. Rockcliffe Bay was a quiet song which I found to be very entrancing. Spraggan’s strong point is the fact she is an amazing storyteller through the means of music. “So you guys might of discovered me and some of you might not have done but I went on a TV show. So I played this song on there. It’s not Beer Fear. I’m going to play it a little bit later on” Lucy said before revealing Gold Digger was one of her favourite rap songs ever. Spraggan made this Kanye West cover her own and it also included snippets of Sir Mix A Lot – I Like Big Butts and Snoop Dogg’s – Drop It Like It’s Hot. This was a furious paced cover which was completely faultless. Also plenty of people were singing along to this.

“This song is about the same person. When I was 18 I got the chance to gig in America. I had no money but I went anyway. I ended up realising my Visa lasted for 3 months and I thought I may as well do what I can. I joined Couch Surfers and I travelled across America. Did 23 States in 3 months with £1000 and ended up falling in love and not really pursuing that much of a music career” Lucy then said before kicking off the acoustic set with the quirky In A State. The person in this song was the one that was mentioned in 91. This was an impressive tune with stunning lyrics which you are tempted to sing along to. I rather liked the part when she abbreviated the States. At first I thought there is no way Lucy has named all 50 states then I realised she name checked all the ones that she visited. “It’s about when things are just miserably bad. You just gotta remember that everything you do is a bit of a gamble” Spraggan mentioned to the audience introducing the next number as Join The Club. She actually wrote this on the train home after getting a declined on her Visa to go back to America. Its verses were really upbeat and I liked it when Lucy said “If there is someone standing on your left hand side. Grab them”. Spraggan’s vocals were extremely sweet and I couldn’t help smile when she delivered this sublime song to perfection. “This song is the one you lot probably know me best for and the one I think I owe quite a lot to this song” Lucy said before introducing the next tune as Beer Fear or Last Night it is also known as. This was extremely quirky and it had to be one of my highlights of the evening. You cant help but smile throughout even though the topic of this song is the repercussions of a night out and remembering it. The fact Lucy mentioned all these spirits was rather clever and it resulted in a phenomenal tune. “I wrote this song when I was 16” Spraggan said to the tightly packed audience before You’re Too Young. After hearing the 2011 album Top Room At The Zoo this was the song I most wanted to hear performed. This emotional tale tells the story Chelsea Price who mixes with the wrong crowd. She then starts seeing Ben who turns out to be a drug dealer. Chelsea then gets stabbed and is left to bleed to death. I actually think that this girl who stabbed Chelsea was a drug addict and Ben was supplying them to her. Now that would explain the erratic behaviour. Aside from that it was superbly delivered and plenty of people joined in with singing the song with Lucy. “I don’t think I got the words wrong then. That might be a first” she then said. “This song is about the stage when you’re madly in love with someone” Lucy Spraggan mentioned before Butterflies. This was a beautiful song with excellent lyrics which were faultlessly delivered. Other than the additional electric guitar accompanying Lucy you also had the drums. “This song is the first song that I played when I got through to live shows. Sorry to keep referring to that. It’s just based on when you want something really really badly and you can’t get it. But you keep trying” Lucy then said before embarking on Mountains which she sang on that TV show. I really liked this beautiful song which was sweetly sung. I was left entranced just seeing this lovely number being performed live right in front of me “I’m not scared of climbing mountains, I’m scared that I can’t make them move”. “This is supposed to be my last song now” Spraggan said before ending the evening with Someone. This sounded so epic with a full band and the lyrics were extremely contagious while played at a fast pace. The band then left the stage only for Spraggan to return moments later as there was plenty of cheering for an encore.

“I used to try and get a gig anywhere that I could. Like anywhere, literally bedrooms, bathrooms, bars, clubs, anywhere. I ended up playing in a Blues Bar and I started playing my normal set and a guy sat right down at the front and went “You’re in a Blues Bar and you’re not playing the Blues. So I don’t really know what you’re doing here”. So I left and about 6 months later I wrote this song and went back. I went to the same Blues Bar, the same guy was there, I played this song for him and he walked out” Lucy recounted before kicking the encore off with Don’t Know Nothing About The Blues. There was actually a Country/ Blues vibe to this infectious tune and the chords that were played reminded me a lot of Delta Maid. “So did anybody hear the amazing fantastic news that I’m utterly completely proud of. I’m now signed to Columbia Records. Which means we’re going to be releasing a single” Spraggan said before launching into Lighthouse. Both Matt and Alex had rejoined Lucy on stage. Lighthouse sounded more folkier compared to the quirky pop songs that had been performed earlier on in the set. This actually reminded me of Mumford and Sons. As a single Lighthouse was a promising tune with some really infectious lyrics. Just hearing this song live makes me come to the conclusion that the forthcoming LP will be brand new material and Lighthouse is the only taster track that she sings on this tour. “I thought we’d leave this on a song that is about my favourite Daytime Television Host” Lucy said to plenty of cheers because everyone knew what the curtain was going to come down to. This was to be an ode to Jeremy Kyle. “If you don’t know this song, prepared to be disgusted” she went onto say. Jeremy Kyle may have been a short one but it went down well with the sold out audience plus it was played at a fast pace. The lyrics were memorable and my favourite part being the middle 8 when the pace of this number cranked up another notch.

SET LIST

91
Paper Dreams
Tea And Toast
Rockcliffe Bay
Gold Digger
In A State
Join The Club
Last Night
You’re Too Young
Butterflies
Mountains
Someone

ENCORE

Don’t Know Nothing About The Blues
Lighthouse
Jeremy Kyle

OVERALL: My love for Lucy Spraggan just grows and grows. I even booked for the Brighton show at the Coalition and just by witnessing her perform a stunning set makes me want 23rd May to be here right now. The songs which were performed were very quirky pop and the new single Lighthouse showed plenty of promise. Like I mentioned earlier on I cannot see any of the songs appearing on the debut release on the Columbia imprint though as I would of thought for the first release they just want brand new material. If an old song was to go on there I would have to say it would be Last Night and maybe Mountains. The reason I say that is because Lighthouse sounds more folk and I would guess that is what they will be going for.

Also it was really nice that Lucy came out after for photos and to sign items. It is not that often artists do that.

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