Lewis Watson at the Colchester Arts Centre 21/06/2013

One of life’s greatest pleasures is the feeling of getting a bargain. That feeling that you’ve got great value for money, that you’ve made a good decision in parting with your cash. When I handed over my eleven pounds fifty in return for a ticket to see Lewis Watson at the Colchester Arts Centre, I was confident that I’d secured the bargain of the century.

Performing alongside Lewis were two superb support artists – Shannon Saunders and Frank Hamilton. On first was Shannon and as she came onto the stage with her guitar I was confident that I was about to witness an enjoyable set. Shannon’s music is fairly introverted, you can tell that she puts a lot of her life experiences into her lyrics and though this is great to listen to on an album, I felt that perhaps as a live set it needed to be slightly more engaging with the audience. However, she did a fantastic job of teaching the us her lyric ‘my eyes are you, I see you but you don’t see me’ and getting us to join in at the right moment. I subconsciously got this particular tune in my head a day or two after the gig which must be a good sign! Another highlight of Shannon’s set was definitely her song ‘Heart Of Blue’ which brilliantly showed off her skill as a piano player as well as a guitarist. I’ll definitely be listening to more of her music.

Frank Hamilton. Remember that name – he’s going to be big! I’d come across Frank’s name before though hadn’t really checked out his sound a great deal. But after this I’m completely sold, and Frank has certainly gained a new fan. His blend of upbeat chord sequences and tongue-in-cheek lyrics create a gig vibe to be envied by many major bands. I could even hear someone shouting ‘I LOVE THIS GUY!’ after just one verse of Frank’s opening song. His set continued and the lively atmosphere was sustained throughout, culminating in a first-class cover of ‘Teenage Dirtbag’. A band or artist can do no worse than chucking into their set a few well known cover tracks. The set was all too soon coming to an close as Frank performed his final song ‘You, Your Cat and Me’. This song is absolutely excellent – it possesses a catchy chorus and relatable lyrics. I see no reason why Frank could not go on to sell out arenas all over the world. I know I’ll be buying myself a ticket!

Following Frank, it was time for Lewis Watson to take to the stage. Though I’ve liked his music for a long time, I wasn’t sure what to expect seeing him live. But I have to say – I wasn’t disappointed. The crowd seemed to love the whole performance and everyone was having a great time. Lewis’ music is definitely a more relaxing listen than the previous upbeat tunes of Frank Hamilton, however this didn’t mean it was any less enjoyable. Particular gig highlights for me were ‘Into the Wild’ and his new track ‘Calling’. Another exciting moment was when Lewis climbed into the crowd to sing (even though, due to my lack of height, it meant I couldn’t see him!).

All in all, a great night with Frank Hamilton really being the standout act for me. If you can catch him on tour then I can’t recommend it enough!

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