If you haven’t heard of Mabel yet, you’re going to. While she’s already had massive chart success with her singles Don’t Call Me Up and Fine Line, there’s definitely much more to come from her.
Last month I had the privilege of seeing her perform for the second time, after seeing her headline show at Newcastle Uni last December. This time, as part of a string of shows promoted by HMV, Mabel brought her Mad Love tour to Newcastle’s quayside venue Riverside.
Though at 31 I felt like I was likely one of the oldest people in the crowd, the audience were clearly excited and the venue was filled with a great atmosphere. Mabel had clearly come a long way in just the one year I had her seen prior to this show. With a collection of very talented dancers and a more refined and styled look, Mabel took to the stage like a pro. Though I’d enjoyed her performance last year, it was obvious that Mabel has put a lot of hard work into her performing style, dancing and overall stage persona.
Smiling and interacting with the audience throughout, the show lasted an hour altogether, perfect timing for Mabel to fit in all of her big hits, as well as songs from her new album High Expectations. She clearly had some devoted fans in front of the stage, lovingly singing along to her every word.
Watching the show, it really felt like Mabel is starting to come into her own on stage and is definitely growing as an artist. There was a feel good vibe in the room for the whole performance, and this was evident as she sang my favourite songs of hers Finders Keepers and Bad Behaviour. One of the nicest additions to the evening, was seeing Mabel’s team visibly support her and hype her up in the crowd. She clearly has a genuine and supportive team around her.
As Mabel becomes more of a household name and continues to stamp her mark on the UK R&B pop scene, I’m hopeful to see her playing much larger venues in Newcastle in the future.
Her album High Expectations is available in HMV and on streaming services now.
Lighthouse Family have been bringing an uplifting and melodic twist on British pop-soul since they burst into popularity in the UK charts in the mid 90s.
One thing that certainly hasn’t changed since their debut album Ocean Drive was released in 1995, is their undeniable ability to captivate their audience. Founding members Tunde, vocals, and Paul, keyboard, have a friendship that shines through on stage, and two unmistakable talents that seem to have only gotten better in the over 20 years that they have been making music together.
Standing at the bar in Newcastle’s City Hall for the Lighthouse Family’s first Newcastle show of their latest tour, the excitement in the crowd was clear. From the moment Tunde and Paul walked on stage, they certainly made the most of the incredible atmosphere amongst the audience. The City Hall was deservedly sold out and the performers noted on stage that Newcastle was the city that brought the two of them together as an act and helped to create Lighthouse Family’s first record. It was clear to see how much they enjoyed being back on stage in the toon.
Playing a mixture of their iconic hits such as Lifted, High and Raincloud as well as tracks from their new album Blue Sky in Your Head, the whole set was glorious. Tunde and Paul also brought some heartfelt personal memories to the meaning behind a lot of the songs, and both had a fantastic aura when interacting with the crowd.
A simple stage was all they needed as Tunde’s unmistakably smooth singing voice and the rest of the bands talented instrumentals brought all the entertainment. Tunde’s charismatic stage presence certainly didn’t go a miss with some of his clearly loyal fans!
After a roar of cheering for an encore, the band all returned to the stage for an extra four songs, including adding some festive cheer with a Christmas style song.
To make sure that you don’t miss out on Lighthouse Family’s next performance in town, visit Newcastle City Hall’s website to snap up some of the limited tickets that are currently available for their show on 21st February 2020, here;