British singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas has had a rollercoaster of a ride in the music industry. Releasing her debut single It’s Too Late in 2000, she saw her record deal fall through and instead focused on songwriting hits for popstars such as Will Young, Rachel Stevens and Gareth Gates. In 2004 Silvas finally got her breakthrough as an artist in her own right with the platinum-selling debut album Breathe In, which spawned multiple hits including What You’re Made Of and the title track. Her 2006 follow-up album The Same Side didn’t match the success Silvas enjoyed with Breathe In and she found her without a deal once again.
In 2015 Silvas returned with her first album in almost a decade when she released Letters to Ghosts. Taking influence from having lived in Nashville for several years, the record retained Silvas’ songwriting prowess but the music was produced in a way that had more in common with Country, soul and gospel than her previous releases. The success of Letters to Ghosts led Silvas back to the UK earlier this year to perform at C2C: Country to Country and last night she headlined the second and final day of Nashville Meets London.
Following on from an amazing set by Sam Outlaw, Silvas had a lot of expectation on her shoulders. It was clear from the opening moments of Lose It All that the audience was in for a fantastic show and Silvas proved to be the perfect way to bring the weekend to a close. The set list for the show featured a mix of songs from across her career as well as some well-chosen covers. Throughout the set Silvas was on fine vocal form hitting the big notes with seeming ease and showcasing just how powerful an instrument she has.
Recent single Just For the Record was an early highlight, allowing Silvas’ voice to shine as she played the keys. It’s always my favourite way to listen to Silvas because you really get to hear the beautiful tone and quality of her voice in that kind of arrangement. She dipped into her Breathe In album to perform What You’re Made Of, a song which sounds as powerful 13 years on as it did on its initial release, and the album’s title track got the audience singing along and dancing.
The soaring Letters to Ghosts was one of the finest moments of the night. The song is a rousing soulful Country song with a gospel influence and it sounded magnificent. To be honest I would have been happy if she’d sung it again as an encore it was simply that good.
In terms of the covers she played Silvas performed Roy Orbison’s You Got It, which is featured on Letters to Ghosts, showed off her incredible vocals on a rendition of The Jackson 5’s Who’s Lovin’ You and she did her own version of Smoking Jacket, a song she co-wrote with Miranda Lambert and Natalie Hemby that was recorded by Lambert for her latest album The Weight of These Wings.
Elsewhere in the set Silvas captured a trailer park love triangle on Two Birds, One Stone, a song that she wrote with her husband John Osborne (of Brothers Osborne), she performed the fantastic Alone from her 2006 album The Same Side, and delivered stirring soul on the magnificent Smoke. Silvas brought her set to a close with the stripped-down Pull the Stars Down.
Last night’s show was nothing short of triumph for Silvas. She will be back in the UK in November for a headline tour with Charlie Worsham as her support, and I’m pretty sure she sold quite a few more tickets after her Nashville Meets London performance. Silvas is a wonderfully talented artist whose abilities are limitless and I’m so glad that she’s back on top, where she belongs.
Set list: 1. Lose It All 2. Happy 3. Unbreakable Us 4. Smoke 5. Along 6. Just For The Record 7. My Old Habits 8. That’s All Right (Elvis cover) 9. Two Birds, One Stone 10. What You’re Made Of 11. Who’s Lovin’ You? (Jackson 5 cover) 12. Letters to Ghosts 13. Breathe In 14. Smoking Jacket (Miranda Lambert cover) 15. You Got It (Roy Orbison cover) 16. Pull the Stars Down Performance date: 23rd July 2017