- Lennon Stella
English singer-songwriter ANNE-MARIE has been storming her way through the UK charts over the last 18 months. Appearing on some of the biggest hits to grace the airwaves – David Guetta’s Don’t Leave Me Alone and Clean Bandit’s Rockabye, to name a few – and with a string of her own hit singles, she’s growing in popularity by the second. After the release of her debut album, Speak Your Mind, in 2018 and a support slot opening for Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie’s first headline UK tour has unsurprisingly sold-out.
Mountford Hall is the setting for her Liverpool show and a venue she probably could have filled three times over. It’s unlikely we’ll get to see her play in a space of this size again. Hordes of adoring fans fill the room with excited anticipation as Canadian singer LENNON STELLA warms up the crowd. Another regular who features on chart hits, Stella works her way through tracks from her new album and her version of Jonas Blue’s Polaroid. The crowd is dancing non-stop: not necessarily knowing the songs but fully getting into the occasion of the evening. I’m not a frequent flyer at pop gigs and I didn’t really know what to expect but it’s so refreshing seeing a room full of people making the most of the music.
Lights dim, the crowd screams and a thousand phones are raised into the air as Anne-Marie bounds onto the stage, bursting with energy. Drum stick in hand she dives straight into the anthemic track Bad Girlfriend from her debut album. There doesn’t seem to be a person in the room who isn’t chanting along with hands in the air or sitting on shoulders to grab a closer look. Pop singers can sometimes get a bit of stick for their vocal capabilities but she can ignore all those comments. Her voice is powerful and full of range and as she bounces around the stage it doesn’t falter once. The crowd often provide backing vocals so loud she occasionally gets lost in the volume but it only highlights how big of a fanbase she has. A room full of people screaming back your lyrics can only be a good thing from her point of view and it adds to the party-on-a-Monday-night vibe she has going on.
An impressive backdrop of a light show accompanies her set and it feels more like a rock show at times as shredding guitar solos and heavy drums shake the room. It’s not like listening to her reel off song after song from an album; it’s a proper show you expect to see in arenas up and down the country.
Mixing up a setlist filled with dance tracks, ballads and punchy pop, Trigger, Ciao Adios, 2002 and Alarm are highlights of the evening. A bit of audience participation comes in the form of fans in the front row providing Sean Paul’s rap during Rockabye, which they have obviously practised, because it is word perfect.
There’s definitely a theme to a lot of the songs this evening. Brushing off old boyfriends and expressing the importance of loving yourself are topics included in the majority of the tracks. The latter, however, is a powerful message and one Anne-Marie expresses well on the stage. A video of people, including Ed Sheeran, talking about their perfect imperfections gains cheers of appreciation from the crowd before she bursts into the ballad, Perfect To Me.
Ending on a high note with her rendition of FRIENDS, a collaboration with producer, Marshmello, Anne-Marie has managed to keep a crowd dancing and singing along for her whole set. Playing hit after hit from a range of genres, the energy doesn’t die once and for a singer-songwriter with just one album to her name, it’s an impressive feat.