Laura Copestake

Lewis Watson @ Manchester Sound Control

Once again, I was back on the train to Manchester for another night of music. This time it was Lewis Watson‘s turn to wow the crowd at Sound Control, and it’s safe to say that he delivered.
Kicking off the night was London based band Slowlights who warmed up the crowd with a mix of upbeat, indie feel good tunes. The band had a natural stage presence and were a welcoming start to the gig.
After about half an hour Lewis Watson, along with his band, was greeted onto the stage by huge cheers and dove straight into some tracks off of his latest album midnight. Having only seen Lewis Watson before in acoustic settings, it was a nice change to hear his songs with a full band behind them. It was clear that a lot of hard work and energy had gone into these new songs. Tracks such as little light had Watson swap his acoustic guitar for electric and perfectly showed the change of pace in his new album.
However the old songs were still on hand and the crowd were treated to favourites off of Watson’s first album, such as Sink or Swim, which – again – had the full support of the band behind it. A highlight of night came when Watson, along with pianist Juliet, performed an unplugged version of Halo. Its always a risk performing acoustically to a crowd of a few hundred people, but the audience soon quietened down and listened tentatively as the song went on.
After a few solo guitar tracks from Watson, the band arrived back on stage and the tempo picked up. Interchanging between old and new material, the crowd were constantly singing along and the atmosphere in the room was at a constant high. A lot of this was down to the warming personality Watson had. Before playing songs, such as Outgrow (my personal favourite), Watson would give little anecdotes about the track, giving the whole gig a more intimate feeling.
This was soon confirmed when it came to the encore and Watson grabbed his acoustic guitar and headed out into the middle of the crowd. The noise in the crowd once again disappeared and everyone gently sang along to Watson as he slowly moved around the circle of people.
This perfect end to the gig shows just how much respect Lewis Watson has for his fans, and vice versa. Having been a fan of Lewis Watson for many years, it’s easy to see how much his music has grown and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next.

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