Live Review: Freya Ridings – Newcastle

Freya Ridings

O2 Academy, Newcastle, 11th November 2019

Freya Ridings

Words and Photography: Lauren Mellor

As an opening night of tour, Newcastle is certainly a great place to get warmed up. 

And is there much better than seeing a female-powered gig? Well that’s certainly what Freya’s performance, and admittedly her full tour, provides. It’s really empowering to see strong females command such a presence in the music industry and for all the right reasons. 

Support act Jasmine Thompson was a new find for me and a brilliant one at that. Her stage setting was simple and stripped back, with herself on keys and accompanied by two string players. Despite the O2 being a slightly larger venue, Jasmine still encapsulated an intimate setting. She was the perfect opener for Freya, with her melancholic voice and angelic songs. If she hadn’t won me over from the get-go, then she certainly did with her Paolo Nutini Candy cover, which got the full room singing along. 

Jasmine Thompson

Finding her feet on YouTube, it’s no surprise that Jasmine is supporting such a big act like Freya. I love discovering a new artist through a live gig, and Jasmine is definitely a musician I’ll be listening to for years. 

Opening with Love Is Fire it was clear that Freya was excited to play some new songs in front of an audience entirely dedicated to her. There’s a special talent in being such an engaging performer when you’re sat behind a grand piano and it’s noticeable that Freya certainly felt right at home in that environment. 

Often seen as the nice girl next door, Freya paid homage to sometimes being a bit of a devil with her hypnotic cover of Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy. A song I’m sure we can all admit is an addictive listen, but Freya’s cover gave it a whole new lease of life with her beautifully strong vocal range rivalry the likes of Florence Welch. 

It’s clear that Freya’s moved on quite significantly from that one song that put her on the map initially, with a wide variety of songs in her arsenal. With feet stomping songs like Castles, to love ballads like Still Have You, you’re sure to find something for everyone in Freya’s music. What’s more, is that she really knows how to capture an audience, with the room being completely transfixed by her performance. 

After a night like this, I can only assume that Freya has a great tour set out ahead of her. Definitely one to get along to if you can.

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