The undeniably talented Lucy Rose and her dulcet tones have always been a major source of buzz and excitement in the music world: from the hype over the heavy fringed babe touring with Bombay Bicycle Club, to the constant natter over the sheer gorgeousness of her 2012 debut album Like I Used To and now the talk of her masterful return, Work It Out. This month her beckoning croons could be heard ringing out over the rolling hills at Truck Festival, “the godfather of the small festival scene”.
Her set in the close confines of the Market Stage can only be described as otherworldly; a hazy concoction of grins and laughter and energy. It was truly one of those moments in life that removes all sense of being or time passing; there was merely a sense of enjoyment, the here and the now. Having previously accommodated the rambunctious antics of the notorious RAT BOY, the Market stage experienced a welcome moment of true pleasure. There were no real pretensions or conditions assigned to Lucy’s performance, “just come and have a good time” she seemed to request and this was practically guaranteed by the sheer brilliance and intimacy of her performance.
With flawless delivery, Lucy’s set masterfully combined old and new favourites; commanding the absolute, undivided attention from the crowd. Kids and adults alike were making professions of being “just yours” to “Our Eyes” and wistfully swaying to old favourite “Middle of the Bed” – which felt much like the audible embodiment of a cuddle from Lucy herself. “Happy birthday to my mum…”, grinned Lucy between songs, diverting the attention towards her blushing mother. “I can’t believe I just did that”, she then chuckles before delving back into her set.
Afterwards we meet for a chat and as we walk to her signing, we discuss her latest musical offering. “Yeah, this album is quite different to the first one” she admits, “there’s a lot more experimentation and, honestly, it’s because I have the money to do that now… when I started out, I didn’t”. This progression, which is particularly evident on tracks such as “Our Eyes” and “Cover”, is not a betrayal to her earlier tracks, however. Instead, it seems to evoke a sense of accord and much like her live set, Lucy manages to combine the old and the new with such harmony that it seems illogical that these tracks did not always exist together.
With this, talk drifts to the electrifying energy present in her earlier performance. “This has made me so excited for touring! It was such a great crowd” she enthuses, the excitement of the evening unquestionably present in the twinkle of her eye. We are momentarily interrupted; the glowing eyes of festival goers, featuring the same twinkle present in Lucy’s, meet us and with a smile, she takes a seat and delves into conversation.
Forty minutes later she meets me with a grin and jokingly voices her hope that “no one has spiked [her] drink”. “I’m really hungry…” she tells me, eyeing the burger I managed to pick up during her performance. We idly discuss the different food stalls at the festival: “my food of choice is… well, anything. I’m really unfussy… now I’m looking at your burger I’m thinking ‘yep!’ but pizza’s good too”.
As we walk back to the Market stage in the dwindling sunlight of the Oxford countryside, talk diverts to other artists on the line up. “It looks really good, I’m sad to be missing it but I have to leave shortly… RAT BOY? How was he? I think he’s going on tour with the 1975?” – at that I allude to comments that had been made earlier that day about the 1975’s lead singer, Matty. “I’ve met him a few times… I don’t think he’s cocky. He’s enthusiastic. There’s a fine line between the two”. This is true; the same enthusiasm can be seen in bands such as Palma Violets and Peace who stated earlier this year that, “You have to [believe in your music fully]. It’s important”.
By contrast, Lucy Rose, remains extremely modest and whilst it is clear she does believe in what she does, she projects it in a different way. “Though, you do get the people who are insanely unassuming, like me, who are like ‘ahh really?’ when you compliment them and that’s fine. Although I bet I’m really annoying sometimes”, she admits. “I sent [the 1975] a private tweet the other day, like a direct message, and I asked them if there was any way they could post a link to my album to help me out… [Matty] was like ‘yeah I’ll have a listen’ and he never got back to me so I’m like… I’m guessing that’s a no…”, she jokes.
We momentarily lose ourselves behind the back of the Barn Stage and Lucy chuckles about getting “lost so many times on the way in”. “They told us it was the first left turning but we went down so many left turnings to get here”. We eventually find the Market Stage and are met by the rumbling basslines of Peter Hook & The Light, headliners of the market stage. My excitability grows evident; I suffer an internal conflict of wanting to chat to Lucy forever and wanting to experience Shadowplay live.
“Go! Get out of here… go and watch it…” Lucy tells me with a wry, knowing smile and with a quick embrace and a squeak of “woah I lost my balance”, we part ways; Lucy off on a musical adventure and me to cry tears of sheer delight to the closest thing I’ll ever get to Joy Division. Lucy Rose is set to perform numerous festival dates across Europe over the summer. She will also be setting out on an enormous 23-date Autumn tour later this year. More information can be found here.