Live Review: Lewis Watson, The Bodega, Nottingham 03/04/2017
Nottingham’s indie safehaven The Bodega has played host to a handful of promising artists over the past few months. This sunny Monday evening showcased Oxford singer songwriter Lewis Watson. With his second album 'Midnight' being released only a few days prior, we were set for an insight into his latest material on the final show of his UK run.
Opening act Slow Lights provided a burst of energy, with their lively stage presence creating the perfect atmosphere. Despite being somewhat heavier than Lewis’ material, the set went down a treat with the crowd. I Try So Hard was a personal favourite for me, with its concise riffs blaring through the venue, on top of superb vocals from frontman Dan Clark.
It’s so easy to admire Lewis Watson, especially when his entrance is so humble. The band take the stage, and go straight into track number one of Midnight- Maybe We’re Home. For me, this track is the perfect opener for both live shows and the album; it showcases the natural shift in maturity with his music, which is a pleasure to witness. Other new singles, such as Deep the Water and Give Me Life further accentuated this development, as well as emphasizing the atmospheric vibe in the venue.
The accompaniment of the full band on the album brings a real sense of strength to Lewis’ music, adding a new dimension to his performance. However, the stripped back performances of fan favourites Bones and Into the Wild signified a sing along, letting us all reminisce those first few EP’s. This part of the performance held such a level of nostalgia that took us right back to his Youtube days, when only his voice captivated such a huge crowd. Losing the mic for single Halo, and with the accompaniment of keys player Julie Thorp, meant that the performance felt incredibly intimate.
For me, the seamless weaving from old and new material was the highlight of this show. Hearing the range of Lewis’ vocals was an incredible asset to the performance, as well as the anecdotes that came with each single. This sense of intimacy is what keeps these fans coming back; Lewis’ humble approach is what makes his talent all the more incredible to witness.
Words of Cait Briggs and Photography by Ryan Winstanley