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Gig Review: Holly Humberstone at Rescue Rooms

12 November 21 words: Katie Lyle
photos: Jade Vowles

Grantham-raised singer songwriter Holly Humberstone ascended to the stage of Rescue Rooms completely solo for her long-awaited headline tour, providing an evening of honest, warm and tender songs…

After a spiral of success, accruing over 100 million streams with her releases over the past couple of years, Holly Humberstone finally took to the stage to see her fans in person, with a long awaited run up to the show due to its rescheduling as a result of the pandemic. 

The atmosphere was magical in Rescue Rooms as it was clear to see the space was filled to the brim with a combination of Holly’s friends, family and long time supporters, there to celebrate the success she has accomplished so far. Being from Grantham myself, it was exciting to see someone so local to me and my upbringing flourishing in such an incredible way. With much of her material co-written and produced with Nottingham’s Rob Milton, this felt like a special hometown show, and Holly professed this, recalling her roots to this city multiple times. 

Opening with her track Vanilla, the room felt electrically emotive, and it was clear to see her music resonated with all. Her performance was mellow yet uplifting, as she found unique ways to perform completely solo yet still providing an incredibly full sound through the use of pianos, guitars, synths and drum pad loops throughout. Her vocals, stunningly unique and honest, just exactly like the tracks we have all been singing along to during lockdown. 

Holly’s stage presence was striking, yet humble. The room sat silent throughout transitions between songs, as she often deeply accounted their meanings and stories. Filling the stage on her own, there was a uniqueness to her performance as she moved from place to place, performing acoustically with electric guitar or piano, yet featuring more heavily layered electronic tracks too.

With lyrical topics focusing on confessions of her struggles, and odes to family and romance, her ballads are relatable to anyone, but specifically young people in their early twenties trying to navigate the first stages of adulthood.

Exciting the crowd, Holly also brought two new songs to the stage, Thursday and Friendly Fire which both appear on her brand new EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin which was released today. 

The room lay eerily silent for her stunning rendition of Haunted House, as she explained the story behind the song, an ode to her house nearby in the countryside. 

Holly left the stage and returned for a final encore of her most popular song The Walls Are Way To Thin, a synth ballad inspired by her transition to life in London after moving down there for the first time.

This was certainly a very special hometown show for Holly, with her success so far proving unbelievably promising to the next steps in her musical career. 

Holly Humberstone performed at Rescue Rooms on 10 November 2021.

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