Following the release of his acoustic edition of “Midnight” on the 15th September, Lewis Watson hit the road for an accompanying acoustic tour, and I was lucky enough to see him live at The Venue, Derby.
Support came from Derby local Joseph Knight, a singer with a strong acoustic voice, who played a set of dreamy songs to kick start the night. His voice was somewhat comparable to Lewis Watson and was the perfect way to warm the crowd. Old Sea Brigade followed – an American indie-folk singer with a quieter, more soothing voice than perhaps expected. Accompanied by his band, he played a range of tranquilising songs before handing over to Lewis Watson himself.
By this point, the crowd had perhaps doubled in size in anticipation. His hour-long set was atmospheric and wistful to say the least – his raw vocals playing a virtue to the soft acoustic set up. His stripped back band (consisting of three members rather than five) mesmerised the audience with their alternative versions of songs both from ‘Midnight’ and debut album “The Morning”.
Around halfway through his set Lewis Watson and a member of his band treated the audience to an unplugged version of ‘Halo’ – he kindly asked the audience to refrain from singing along, leading to the ultimate acoustic treat for the ears. Even when he encountered technical issues, it did not stop this talented professional – he instead gave the audience a stripped version of “Bones”, using nothing but his vocals. With the backing of the audience, this collective performance sparked the atmosphere as people couldn’t resist singing along.
Despite the crowd being relatively small, the ambiance was nothing short of enchanting, encaptivating each and every member. Clearly singing from the heart, he is not one to shy away from more personal songs – instead he injects them with passion and empathy, which is apparent both on and off the stage.