Review + Photography by Cain Suleyman

50 CENT, Corinne Bailey Rae and Michael Kiwanuka are among the previous winners of the ‘BBC Sound of’ award in their respective years. All of these artists have gone on to achieve spectacular success in the music world and are all currently active in writing and touring. So it’s no surprise for me to be blown away by the incredible talent of this years winner, Sigrid, as she opens her latest UK tour in Brighton.

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At only 21 years old she possesses this youthful stage presence that resonates with the, predominantly, young crowd. Her electro beat heavy songs create a live performance that doesn’t allow a single spectator to stand still. It’s a force that fills every individual and completely takes over to add to the lively atmosphere. This feeling is ever present as she plays her latest single ‘Strangers’, a song that will have anyone tapping their feet. This was the first moment of the night where fans were in full voice to sing and connect with Sigrid.

Tonight’s support came from fellow Norwegian, Fred Well. I hadn’t heard any of his music and therefore didn’t know what to expect. When the big reveal came, I found myself listening to a standard Radio 1 friendly male voice with vocal melodies that could fit into a range of pop songs without originality. This was also the case with the instrumental side of the music. Electro patterns that fit the norms of the genre, which combined with the vocals, created safe music choices that failed to grab the audience. Fred Well’s sound was solid and he gave a really good live vocal performance. Is his music good enough to break into the music world? Only time will tell.

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One aspect of the live pop scene that is important is the ability to connect with the audience. With the support failing to establish that connection, Sigrid entered the stage with confidence, charisma and cheekiness full to the brim of the BBC Sound Of 2018 winner. It didn’t take long for her to make her fans completely fall in love with her. She possessed a grin as wide as her face throughout the whole gig, showing her complete and utter love and enjoyment for the opportunity to be on the stage performing. There would also have been an element of excitement as she starts a journey of a completely sold out UK tour.

With Sigrid’s debut album yet to come, a string of singles and EP’s are the only repertoire her followers have as a large amount of the songs performed are unreleased and unknown to members of tonight’s audience. But no one minds this unfamiliarity, with Sigrid’s music being inclusive and accessible enough for people to feel enjoyment for their first introduction to certain songs being performed in this live experience. In fact, this was a very nice way to be acquainted with her music as we had the chance to hear a raw and true representation, as opposed to a recorded and mixed album version.

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The most impressive aspect of the live performance is her skill to instantly switch from an upbeat pop song to an intense and emotional melody without dropping the energy. This was true for the whole gig and through it all, Sigrid never produces a dull moment as the Concorde 2 is completely transfixed by the Norwegian’s voice. She has everyone in the palm of her hand and guides them to a silence so quite that you could hear a pin drop. There was almost a feeling that the venue was too small for her sound. This was yet another impressive aspect of her live performance was that her sound could fill a large venue as easily as she filled the small venue tonight.

For an artist so young, she holds an incredibly mature emotional response to the songs and lyrics she sings. The dynamics in ‘Dynamite’ perfectly mirror the intentions of each lyric to produce a very special moment, among many throughout the night, as she unleashes her heart through the medium of song. It’s safe to say that Sigrid touched the hearts of everyone who’s eyes gazed at her tiny frame that was capable of holding this powerhouse of a voice.

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The final act of the night, fan favourite ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, fills the venue on Brighton seafront along with hundreds of her followers singing every word. With slots at some of the UK’s most popular festivals, as well as major European festivals, it’s safe to say we will be seeing a lot more of Sigrid in the future. Only next time, in much much bigger venues.

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Setlist:
Go To War
Plot Twist
Schedules
Raw
I Don’t Buy It
Strangers
Doing You A Favour
Watch Me
Dynamite
In Vain
High Five
Fake Friends
Credit
Savage In Our Blood
Don’t Kill My Vibe

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