Live Review: Lauren Housley / Robbie Cavanagh – Yellow Arch Studios, 10.12.2021

I first discovered Lauren Housley purely by chance during a pub crawl around Kelham Island! Lauren was playing a free gig at Yellow Arch in the summer and I was massively impressed by the performance.  So much so that when the opportunity to review and photograph Lauren’s headline Sheffield gig came along, I snapped up the offer. 

First up was Manchester’s Robbie Cavanagh who also plays guitar in Laurens’s band. Robbie’s solo career already has many accolades and I can see why. As Robbie began his performance you could hear a pin drop, soaring vocals and intricate guitar work followed.

Robbie has honed his stage craft well, a relaxed approach with friendly and charismatic audience interaction. This mixed with a fantastic set of self-penned songs describing love and loss was a winning formula.  ‘Helpless’ was my personal favourite.

I hadn’t seen Robbie before and on the strength of this performance, immediately added him to my Spotify playlist. Robbie also performs with his own band and has played at numerous festivals and events across the UK. I guess the best compliment comes from fellow artists and as Lauren said later to the audience ‘Robbie’s really good isn’t he, almost too good for my liking!”

Check out Robbie’s albums ‘The state of Maine’, ‘To Leave / To Be Left’ and his fantastic live EP on all major streaming platforms and catch him live soon.

Onto Lauren Housley, taking the stage to an appreciative audience, Lauren immediately put everyone at ease, beaming smiles, a cup of tea in hand and friendly familiar northern accent, before she sang a note I was already drawn in. 

Playing tunes from her latest album release ‘Girl From The North’ Lauren and her stellar band took us on a journey through some fantastic songs, a perfectly balanced mix of performance and music.  Lauren spoke of the dedication of her band who helped to set up her Rotherham studio on New Year’s Day, she had appreciated all of their efforts which was endearing to hear. 

‘Two Lovers Lost In Space’ impressed a short haunting love song with huge impact. By the time the first chords of the anthemic ‘We’re Not Backing Down’ kicked in the crowd were in Lauren’s hands. An encore was inevitable and we were treated to an audience requested cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ along with the Bee Gees ‘To Love Somebody’ 

Lauren has recently been awarded DJ Bob Harris emerging artist of the year 2022 award. Along with a new album, successful tour and a trip stateside early in the new year the future is looking very bright.

Check out Laurens latest album on all major streaming platforms, a ticket to see the show is an absolute must for lovers of excellent musicianship, great vocals and heartfelt, catchy self-penned tunes. 

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