Review: Lauran Hibberd at The Joiners, Southampton

Things finally seem to be happening for Lauran Hibberd. She is a regular on our airwaves, including, and perhaps most notably, on Radio 1 with spins from Jack Saunders; she is being sought after for many of the country’s best festivals; and has even been chosen to help represent BBC Introducing at SXSW this year in Austin. Not bad at all. And, to top it all off, she is currently embarking on her biggest headline tour to date, spanning five dates with pit stops in Southampton, Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester before coming to an end at the Camden Assembly in London. So we thought, why not, let’s go check in on how she’s doing at her “hometown” show on the tour’s opening night at The Joiners.

This was my fourth time seeing Lauran play over the past couple of year’s and it has been incredible to see how her star shines bigger and brighter each and every time. It seems like only yesterday that I was stood in the petite Edge of the Wedge at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth, watching her with a couple of band mates play through a very short and sweet set whilst tucked away in the corner of the room. However, on Saturday evening, she was playing to a sold out crowd at Southampton’s most historic venue, and she looked right at home.

That sold out crowd had already been treated to the incredible young Glaswegian band, Spyres, and fellow indie-pop leading lady Abbie Ozard by the time Lauran adorned the stage, crashing straight into crowd-favourite ‘Sugardaddy’, the lead single from September’s Everything is Dogs EP. Immediately, you could see any sign of nerves dissipate as Lauran settled into her natural habitat, playing off of the reception she was receiving, with a significant number of people singing and chanting her lyrics right back at her every step of the way. This appeared to come as a delightful surprise to the young talent, who couldn’t help but smile when the chorus would kick in and the volume of her fans could be heard above the sound system.

The setlist was dominated by recent tracks from within the discography, with only ‘Hunny is This What Adults Do?’ representing music pre-summer 2018. This in itself is testament to how Lauran has evolved, finding her sound as she has grown as an artist, something that she was anticipating 18 months ago when we sat down for a chat before her headline show at Heartbreakers in July of 2018. With tracks that sit alongside each other as seamlessly and joyously as they do live, there has to be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the next step for Lauran has to be a studio record… but perhaps that is something for when SXSW and the British festival circuit is behind her in the summer.

We were treated to a couple of yet-to-be-released tracks in the form of ‘We Could Be Married, But I Don’t Have a Gun’, and ‘You Never Looked So Cool’ – a track about a dream Lauran once had where she attended her own funeral – which, as was to be expected, displayed all of her talents as a relatable lyricist and an accomplished musician.

The set of a dozen tracks once again confirmed to me that Lauran Hibberd is only at the start of her journey within the industry. She has bags of personality, an incredible ear for riffs and melody, and an all too rare ability to write catchy, relatable lyrics that can resonate with people of all ages and from all walks of life. And I, for one, will be there every step of the way to follow her path as far as it goes!

Lauran Hibberd was playing at The Joiners in Southampton on the first date of her UK headline tour on Saturday 15th February.


Latest Release: ‘Bang Bang Bang’

Highlights: ‘Sugardaddy’ – ‘Frankie’s Girlfriend’ – ‘Call Shotgun’

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