Live Review: Isaac Gracie - O2 Academy, Oxford 21/04/18
Isaac Gracie is a pure joy to watch and even more so to hear. He opens his set with the hauntingly emotive song “All In My Mind” and straight away your hairs are standing on end and a shiver runs through you. Isaac is all about that voice, singing since the age of seven it is no wonder that he has so much control and depth when he sings. Cutting his distinctive style on stage tonight, Rickenbacker in hand, flared trousers, loose shirt and a mass of blonde hair covering that microphone, he looks so at home.
If you have been following Gracie's social media you may have seen that the relentless touring had taken it's toll on his fingers, so when he introduces “All The Burning Lovers” it is down to guitarist Jamie Biles to pick up and pluck away at the acoustic guitar. Biles continues playing through into “Love” and the crowd are clearly mesmerised by the duo, their eyes transfixed on the stage; there is barely a sound to be heard.
Gracie then introduces a new song “Telescope” that comes of the new album that “I just happened to put out” he jokes. There are cries of “I love you” from the crowd from both men and women to which Isaac responds the love he feels is unconditional. You can feel the room beaming with one collective grin. During the next couple of songs Isaac insists that he will not mention the heat anymore. The beer garden weather is very welcome outdoors, but inside we were all a bit hot and flustered and one eager male member of the audience took the opportunity to insist Isaac take his top off! Cheers of support rang out from the rest of the crowd to which Isaac teased us, “Maybe later”.
My personal highlight of the evening came from “Death of you and I”, his most raucous song and one that I have been waiting to witness live for some time. It was magnificent! Gracie's vocals are just like on the record and he effortlessly struts around the stage thrashing the guitar and flicking his hair back. It's such a powerful song. He rounds of the night with the next single “Running on Empty” and “Reverie” before going to the encore. Upon his return to the stage he treats us to another new track from the album “Hollow Crown” before ending on the song that started it all “Last Words”, a permanent fixture now in his set that perfectly wraps up the night. The crowd sing along and applaud unrelentingly as the night now comes to a bittersweet end. We leave desperate for some cooler fresh air but haunted by the glory that was just bestowed upon us.
Isaac Gracie's voice and song writing is what will always bring us back and with each performance he simply gets better and better. The deserved hype is in full swing right now, with frequent support from radio stations, it won't be long till Isaac Gracie is a household name.
Words and Photography by Rachel Prew