Gig review: Lewis Watson/Kimberly Anne

Lewis Watson/Kimberly Anne

Edinburgh Electric Circus, March 11, 2013

Armed with just her acoustic guitar – always a risk when you’re as saturated with singer-songwriters as I am and you’re the support -Kimberly Anne takes to the stage. Within seconds it’s clear that not only is she totally in her element, but she has a gorgeous voice, with a beautiful huskiness to it. She can call as song ‘La La’ and not only pull it off, but get the crowd to sing in harmony. Yes, as in singing different notes at the same time. Not only that she can harmonise with herself. She knows her music and can work ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’ into the same song and it completely and utterly works. Finishing with ‘Almost On My Feet’ she shows that even as the support on a cold Monday night she can warm the corwd.

It’s a busy evening at the Electric Circus, and it transpires that people have been queuing up since half past five to see Lewis Watson. Given the makeup and age of the crowd, I think I can safely say that most of these are teenage girls. I get talking to a woman who seems slightly nearer my age – it transpires that she and her husband have driven their daughter all the way from Dundee to see this gig.

Freshly signed to Warners, the young singer-songwriter from Oxford is just about to unleash his third EP The Wild on the world. Aged just twenty, he’s made up to see the crowd that has gathered for him, not least because last year he supported Gabrielle Aplin at this venue, who has since charted with not just a Frankie Goes To Hollywood cover, but her own songs.

Backed with just a rhythm section, he clearly knows how to play to an audience. It must be pretty gratifying for any songwriter to have a crowd singing your own songs back at you, but this early into a career it’s damn impressive. He comes to perform in the middle of the crowd and they adore him.

Me? I think the lead track on the EP ‘The Wild’ is pretty good. In a world drowning in singer-songwriters, I don’t know if he has what it takes to carry him for decades, but there’s no doubt that someone who can move an audience as I saw him do on this night probably is pretty good at leaving any doubters behind. He has been accused of being like what you would get if you crossed Ed Sheeran with Harry Styles (ouch!) but if he can pull it off, fair play to him.

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