Having played a show in the smallest room at Birmingham’s O2 Institute last year, Holly Humberstone was welcomed back with open arms at the very same venue, but this time, playing a sold out show in the main hall and this time, with a band. Before this all began, the crowd were introduced to UK singer/songwriter, L Devine.
A mixture of pop and indie was what L Devine brought to the show. An energetic performance with passion, excitement and anthemic choruses, the crowd were loving every second. Being able to control the room through crowd interaction, storytelling and an overall love for being on that stage, it was great to see.
Authenticity is something that will allow L Devine to stand out from the rest. Her songs about her personal experiences were able to translate perfectly on stage through song. L Devine showed that she is one to look out for in the coming months, possibly a future pop star.
Following L Devine’s set, the anticipation was finally over, as Holly Humberstone and her band made their way to the stage. As she deserved, a loud round of applause erupted around the room as Holly stood at the front of the stage with a huge smile. Kicking things off with the track “The Walls Are Too Thin” got the crowd singing back every word. This continued throughout the rest of the set.
Everyone was there to have a good time and so was Holly. With a mixture of a pop and electronic sound, and soft vocals, there is nothing not to like about what Holly delivered. Just like L Devine, it was truly authentic. Songs like “Overkill” and “London Is Lonely” prove just that. It was evident as to why Holly became such a rising star throughout the months.
Throughout the set, Holly never lost the intimacy she had with the audience considering the size of the room. With “Can You Afford to Lose Me?”, the hook and the addition of the piano added more of a dramatic aspect to the set. This also showed Holly’s versatility as an artist. From the lights and the backdrop, it was all simple, yet effective.
Telling the crowd how happy she was to be back in Birmingham, as she wasn’t born too far from the city (Linconshine), she formed another sense of connection between herself and her fans.
Following this, she was able to seamlessly transition into the rest of the performance. With 13 tracks, there was still one more track to bring to life, “Scarlett”. Every single person in that room gave it their all one last time and it was truly a beautiful moment to witness.
This tour showed Holly’s growth in confidence as an artist and helped cement her as someone who’s name the music industry will be hearing about for a very long time. This year has been non stop for Holly Humberstone. If this is anything to go by, 2023 will be something special.
Words + photography by Sarah Akomanyi