Words By CAZZ BLASE, Photos by MELANIE SMITH
MANCHESTER UK – The crowd had been screaming for Laura Pergolizzi (LP) for a good fifteen minutes or more before she finally stepped out onto the stage.
It’s a low-key entrance for such a high octane performer: There are no fireworks, no epilepsy inducing light shows, just an ordinary seeming woman, nonchalantly strolling out onto the stage at Manchester’s O2 Ritz, her cap pulled down over her eyes. She is wearing low slung black skinny jeans and a baggy T-shirt, over which she wears a jacket, despite the humid atmosphere. The crowd go wild and LP smiles. She seems pleased to see them.
The set begins with the moody, Stevie Nicks-esque “Dreamcatcher,” the opening track on current album Heart to Mouth. It’s an atmospheric start, a slow building song that gets the audience’s attention and prepares them for the rockier and dancier tracks to come.
In a set dominated by songs from Heart to Mouth, LP by turns, rocks, serenades and seduces the crowd of LP fans with songs such as “Dreamer,” “Recovery” and “When I’m Over You.” Not only can she strut and move about the stage like a pro, making use of her ukulele and mic stand as functional props, but the live arena allows her to fully demonstrate the sheer range of her voice and the emotional scale of her performance: It goes beyond rock, it’s more complex and operatic in scope.
There is room in the set to accommodate older songs, such as “Other People,” but the crowd are word-perfect on every lyric of every song, making for a brilliant communal music experience. The final encore is, of course, ‘Lost on You’, and it’s a great way to finish the set, with the crowd roaring along.
All too soon, the set is over, the lights go up, and it’s time to go home.
The word epic is often overused but, in this case, it really does describe what Pergolizzi is capable of onstage. And it’s easy to see why this tour has sold out.
When We’re High
When I’m Over You
No Witness / Sex on Fire
Die for Your Love
One Night in the Sun
Girls Go Wild
House on Fire / Paint It Black
Lost on You
LP in Manchester 5-18-19:
Photos by Melanie Smith – www.mudkissphotography.co.uk