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HomeMusicDuncan Laurence, Lafayette, London live review

Duncan Laurence, Lafayette, London live review

To many people, Duncan Laurence will be best known for bringing Eurovision victory to the Netherlands back in 2019 with his song ‘Arcade’ (which has since found viral success on TikTok). Since then, he’s toured across Europe, released his debut studio album ‘Small Town Boy’ and been a coach on The Voice Kids Belgium. Now, as he prepares to release new music, he’s been out on the road including a headline show at Lafayette in London last night.

Dressed in a loose double-breasted black suit and backed by his three-piece band, Laurence opened his set with ‘Last Night’ from his album ‘Small Town Boy’. The song’s atmospheric intro built into a huge soaring chorus that showed off the delicacy and soulfulness in Laurence’s vocals brilliantly and had the whole crowd clapping along. He looked so comfortable up on stage from the off and I thought his arm and hand movements, which had an almost balletic quality about them, really heightened the emotion of the song.

Right from the off, what struck me was Laurence’s sense of showmanship. Throughout the entire performance he could be seen strutting across the stage, breaking into dance moves, swinging his hips and dragging and spinning his microphone stand around. I loved his swagger and confidence and you simply couldn’t take your eyes off him for the whole set. He also had a brilliant connection with the audience, frequently reaching out to shake the hands of people on the front rows or singing directly into their phones as they filmed clips of songs, and telling stories about his childhood, his love for London and his musical influences.

Laurence’s hour-long set mainly drew on tracks from ‘Small Town Boy’, covering everything from the pop-influenced ‘Love Don’t Hate It’, which gave him the chance to show off his falsetto, to the acoustic-led introspective ‘Beautiful’, which had a gorgeous subdued quality about it and saw the audience waving multi-coloured heart-shaped balloons as Laurence performed. Elsewhere, ‘Sleeping On The Phone’ and the delicate, yearning ‘Loves You Like I Couldn’t Do’ provided some of the set’s most moving moments, whilst ‘Umbrella’ had a bright melody that balanced its downbeat lyrics beautifully and showed off the breather side of Laurenc’es vocals.

Obviously one of the main highlights was ‘Arcade’, which came midway through the show. Laurence filled the song with emotion and his soft, gentle delivery gave it a lush, dreamy quality as well as a haunting edge. I also loved his acoustic-led spin on Berlin’s 80s classic ‘Take My Breath Away’, ‘Someone Else’ – which started off sparsely before lifting into a big chorus that had the whole crowd singing and dancing along – and ‘Stars’, which saw Laurence sitting at his Rhodes keyboard to deliver the heartfelt song as he mused on the emptiness of fame and missing his family back home.

After performing the upbeat ‘Feel Something’, which showed off some impressive vocal runs, Laurence closed his main set with new single ‘Electric Life’. The song, which sees Laurence reflecting on the passing of a loved one, features a punchy, anthemic chorus (giving me very strong Queen vibes) and a feeling of warmth and joy throughout. It was a wonderfully uplifting note to finish on and the audience responded louder than they had all night – and they’d been in fine voice the whole way through! He then returned to the stage for an acoustic performance of new song ‘Anything’, a touching, romantic song written for him by his fiancé.

Overall I felt Duncan Laurence delivered a brilliant set that shows why he’s become such a big star. He has such wonderful energy and charisma on stage that makes him absolutely mesmerising to watch, and when that’s coupled with his easy connection with the audience and incredible vocals it all adds up to a fantastic performance. Despite a few technical mishaps in the second half of the show – which I thought Laurence coped really well with, cracking jokes about forgetting his lyrics and being a consummate professional throughout – it served as a fitting end to this latest tour and left me feeling excited about his new music. My only (very minor) complaint is that it was too short – I would have loved to hear more!

Set list: 1. Last Night 2. Love Don’t Hate It 3. Beautiful 4. Sleeping On The Phone 5. Loves You Like I Couldn’t Do 6. Take My Breath Away (Berlin cover) 7. Stars 8. Arcade 9. Umbrella 10. Someone Else 11. Feel Something 12. Electric Life Encore: 13. Anything Performance date: 6th November 2022

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Laura Cooney
Laura Cooneyhttp://cherrysodablog.blogspot.com
Laura is a music and lifestyle blogger with a particular interest in country music, and occasional writer for Entertainment Focus.

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