FOUR dates into their UK tour, Lawson took to the stage to a sell-out crowd at Sound Control in Manchester and Quays News entertainment reporter Molly Smith was there for us…

After almost a two year break from the music industry, Lawson are back touring the UK following the release of their top 10 EP, ‘Lawson’.

The selection process for the support acts for the nine date UK winter tour differed from the norm with the band asking acts to tweet using the hashtag for selected shows before the four piece chose who would support them at said show.

Manchester’s support act was a trio, Frontiers. The three-piece performed a four song long set consisting of their own three original songs and a cover of Nick Jonas’s ‘Jealous’.

Considering how the act had come about being given the opportunity to support at the sell out Manchester show the band demonstrated how well they took to the stage and how comfortable they appeared being up there.

With a sound similar to the main act of the night the crowd reaction was great to the band of three brothers. The band were indie rock which went down well with the predominantly female audience.

By covering the popular song ‘Jealous’, it encouraged crowd involvement and got the crowd warmed up.

The second act of the night, the permanent support act for the whole tour, Peter Gardiner took to the stage in the way that he wished to continue his performance. Loud and flamboyant.

The Belfast born singer left the audience stunned with not only his vocals but his loud, verging arrogant, stage persona.

With a compilation of his own material and a mash up of ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Werewolves of London’ and ‘All Summer Long’ the Manchester crowd were left energised by the main man’s inability to stand still.

Gardiner performed with his band that he’d “only been with for a week and a half”. Although the band was only recently formed, musically they worked well with each other on stage. However, the band lacked a personal connection that was evident to the audience.

It is unarguable that Peter Gardiner is a natural born showman, he seemed at home on stage with his personality shining through in between tracks.

Lawson began their show with their debut single ‘When She Was Mine’, this reminded the loyal fans in the crowd just how far the band had come since their music career first began.

The start of the show included some of Lawson’s biggest and most upbeat songs such as ‘Learn to Love Again’, ‘Mountains’ and their most recent single ‘Roads’.

Although the positioning of their most famous songs so early in the set could be debated it worked well with the crowd singing back every word to the band who are now taking a step back into the industry and touring.

It is often easy to forget what true talent is held within the UK band. Andy Brown is an unsung hero in today’s music industry, with his vocals and lyrical talents being arguably among some of the highest.

This was shown when the Liverpool born lead singer was left alone on stage to perform an acoustic performance of a track from their debut album, ‘Everywhere You Go’. The simplicity of the performance left the audience in awe of how effortlessly stunning the 28-year-old’s voice truly is.

With a promise of new music in the next year the band went into performing a track from their most recent EP, ‘We Are the Kings’. Despite the song being only recently released the crowd were able to recite every word back creating a reception for the band that felt like they had never been away.

Performing the well-known hit ‘Hold My Hand’ Andy immersed himself in the crowd, holding hands with a lucky fan in the front row.

The show ended with a crowd favourite ‘Standing in the Dark’ which has ended the majority of shows that Lawson have done during their time as a band.

Lawson are often discounted within the music industry but they are a band that deserve to be listened by many more. With talented band members and incredible lead vocals the music they produce at their live shows sounds uncannily similar to the studio recordings, demonstrating what a true talent and pleasure Lawson are to see live.

By: Molly Smith

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