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Review. Lucy Rose and Charlie Cunningham at the Cambridge Junction

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The Cambridge Junction ‘J2’ stage is glowing with banks of bulb lighting and really sets the mood for an ensuing relaxed performance by Lucy Rose.

But first, Bedfordshire born Charlie Cunningham walks on to the stage with his guitar at the ready and a quiet confidence about him. There are no obvious nerves showing with Cunningham despite tonight’s sell-out.

His musical skills are nothing short of dazzling. The muscles in his firearm ripple as he makes a beat on his guitar while at the same time you can hear each stroke of the strings. As the song dives into a more dulcet tone, there is nothing else but silence; it is almost as if the audience are holding their breath. His Mexican style melodies really shine through on most of his songs.  

Performing Lights Off live reveals Cunningham’s throaty, almost guttural voice compared to the same song on his debut album Lines.

Although the lyrics are simplistic, You Sigh has a pleasant melody and is in keeping with the laid-back theme of the night. Minimum is by far the best song he performs and a good choice to end his set on that. 

All in all, Cunningham is a great performer and seems genuinely pleased to be here. We look forward to seeing him headline at some point, but in the meantime he has announced that he is very much looking forward to touring North America with Lucy Rose again next year.

After seeing her perform at Latitude festival where she played to her biggest audience to date, Lucy Rose’s was already a firm favourite. There is no doubt her general stage presence is very reserved, so it was interesting to see how things would play out in front of a much smaller crowd.

Turning to her set list, Rose started with Intro. Her sweet, Karen Carpenter sounding voice sweeps through the room and she hits the high notes beautifully as expected. Floral Dresses is sung to perfection and being positioned so close to her, you can hear each word pronounced making it easy to understand the story she is telling. Rose’s choice of lyrics are very personal as we get a snippet into her past and general thoughts.

She goes on to explain why she called her next song Moirai. From a simple Google search she typed in the word ‘Fate’. So with that meaning in mind, she lets us know her thoughts on this matter. “[Moirai] is a k**b”, she says in her sweet, well-spoken voice which makes it all the funnier.
Rose has good fun playing Strangest of Ways and the same could be said for Second Chance where she is seen sat at the piano bobbing up and down. A great effort was made from all band members with Love Song, working well together to play in sync.

Arrows ended this fantastic night, the second attempt of this song was made after Rose wasn’t happy with how her voice sounded. Personally, there didn’t seem to be a problem at all but it revealed she is a perfectionist at heart and doesn’t like to disappoint her fans. But it was obvious the crowd were far from that as their applause was the loudest sound of the night.

Words from Catherine Verrechia
Images from Matt Thorpe

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