Occasionally, my judgement is wrong. Sometimes I will admit to these mistakes. Not often. Usually insincerely. But when I’m off and know it - and it doesn’t affect me to confess - I’ll write about it here.
I thought Lucie Silvas’ third album was shit when it came out. Then I saw her in concert last December and I now don’t.
There, got that off my chest.
So, as Lucie has released four albums, and I liked the other three, I now like all of them.
Lucie Who? Exactly. As I found out at her semi-secret gig recently in London, she’s a bit of a cult. I knew I was a longtime member of that cult but I didn’t know there were others too. In some ways they looked very much like me - men of a certain age, balding but - let me stress this - the similarity ends there. Didn’t realise she had such a large gay following. I suppose it was obvious really - a big voiced, attractive blonde who writes about relationships. A 2000’s Judy Garland.
In December, I took my 14 year old daughter to this sweaty Shoreditch cellar to watch Lucie. Her only other experience of live music is Taylor Swift in front of 66,000 in Hyde Park a couple of years back. But I hope she will remember this intimate evening all of her life and look back and remember when she saw the legend that is Lucie. It was a loose, make up the setlist as you go along, evening.
I first came across Lucie on 2005’s Now That’s What I Call Music 60 where Breath In was featured. Breath In is probably her biggest hit and its joyous driving pop song with a gorgeous sing-a-long chorus. It is a breath of fresh air every time I put it on. It’s on my Desert Island Discs and I notice its the 6th most played piece of music I own and the first non classical piece. The album’s pretty good too. Very white soul.
Lucie’s high point was her Second Album - The Same Side. As a whole it’s a classic - a big ballad classic but it has a trio of A songs that I always play - Almost, Already Gone and Alone. Already Gone being the perfect rock ballad with a haunting guitar break. And then there’s Passionate You. Clearly Lucie writes on the piano and her tracks often have catchy piano motifs. The title track - The Same Side - is also worth a listen. My favourite Lucie album. Sold about three copies.
Album 3 - Letters to Ghosts, I obviously didn’t listen to enough when it came out. She leaned on it heavily at the gig in December - clearly it’s her personal favourite. Guitar riff heavy Happy is the stand out track followed by the heart tugging ballad Smoke. The title track Letters to Ghosts is good (though better live tbh). And onto E.G.O. which was my fav album of 2018. First Rate Heartbreak with its stop / start riff is the standout track. She played this early and my daughter loved it.
Lucie has a raspy voice that seems to have two gears. She powers out on the low register and you think that maybe she hasn’t got the range for the top notes. But then her higher register kicks in and she hits the notes perfectly. It’s an attractive combination. I often credit Silvas with my gradual shift away from male cock-rocking blues based music to something wider, something more feminine. It was a good change.
She should be more famous.
The video below is a raw, amateur shot version of Breath In but I think it captures something of the fun and involvement of a Lucie concert.