Q&A/GIG REVIEW: Lucy Spraggan at The Mill in Digbeth

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: 20/12/20 via livestream

SETLIST: Lighthouse; Fight For It; Flowers; Tea and Toast; Sober; Run; Fairytale Of New York; I Don’t Know; It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas; Lucky Stars; Lightning; Don’t Know Nothing About The Blues; Choices; Stick The Kettle On; I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles); Unsinkable

Spraggan’s social media reaction immediately after this show tells you everything you need to know about what it meant to her: ‘It’s been a year since I played with my full band, last night was like a complete dream and there is nothing I love more than making music with those guys.’

Her infectious enthusiasm was evident throughout this live gig and the Q&A element, where fans asked questions of her live via social media between songs, gave a fascinating insight into what a talented artist she is.

Asked how she feels about inspiring others, she said that she’s flattered and understands because it is the inspiration of others and their stories that she uses to inform her songs. And this is the reason why we think she is so talented and her songs have a ring of truth that engage us. ‘I’m constantly inspired by other people and it’s a huge compliment to be able to inspire other people.’

Her warmth and empathy really shine bright in the guitar-based, folk-influenced material that she writes and performs. Playing with a live band featuring a drummer, 2 guitarists, a keyboard player and violinist, we first saw her live at Glastonbury 2017 when we were bowled over by just how good she was live.

Sporting pink hair and 16 months sober she tells us she would like to collaborate with Ed Sheeran, Beyonce or Taylor Swift because she sees them as ‘a stepping stone’. She’s most excited about the COVID-19 vaccine for 2021 so she ‘can do some proper gigs’.

Her 6th album Choices was due out this year but has been postponed to February because of COVID-19 as has the accompanying tour featuring a gig at 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in April (tickets).

She’s been releasing songs from it throughout this year and Sober was a song of the month for us in November. Returning to that post gig social media post and it’s really quite moving: ‘I talk about being sober a lot. I talk about the joy it brings me and how much it’s improved my life. I talk about how it enables me to get up earlier, go out and run long distances, be more productive, be a better friend, better listener. But I don’t often talk about when it’s really hard. 

‘At the end of the show (probably two songs from the end) I remembered the way I have celebrated a really great show for more than a decade …

‘Getting straight off the stage and grabbing a beer. To be honest, when I left the stage I felt pretty gripped by it. It’s always been my ‘reward’ for a success. Some of my most memorable achievements have been destroyed by my need to get absolutely blackout, my uplifted mood has been muddied by my need to have a drink.’

Follow her on Facebook to read the whole thing. 

Elsewhere there are some entertaining covers, notably a fine Christmas one (see setlist above), the promise of a Bollywood feel to upcoming song Animal and even a hint that gigs like these might be monthly.

During the Q&A we learn Spraggan would love to be in Fleetwood Mac and in Lightning she’s having so much fun that she even appears to forget that there isn’t an audience shouting: ‘even louder, come on, sing along’ at one point.

We’re familiar with the story behind own song Don’t Know Nothing About The Blues but love how the chorus of: ‘I’m just a country bumpkin but I’m not afraid to follow my dreams.’ fits so completely with the sentiment of the story.

We can’t wait to see Spraggan live in person in London in April and this livestream was so good not only do we hope it is a monthly fixture until April, you can also vote for it as gig of the year in 2020 here. Buy a ticket to watch it until 27/12/20 here.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Lucy Spraggan Tickets
  • Have you seen any of these shows? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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