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Live / stage review

The mark of a new sound: Liz Lawrence at Yellow Arch

The Stratford-upon-Avon born singer-songwriter graces us with her presence at Yellow Arch Studios.

27 April 2022 at
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Since bursting onto the music scene over a decade ago, Liz Lawrence has released three critically-acclaimed albums and several singles showcasing her wonderfully varied work. Her first headline show in Sheffield is long overdue and a strong crowd turned out to see the dangerously underrated artist.

The fuzzy basslines in opener ‘Down For Fun’ and psychedelic grooves of ‘Saturated’ feel like the mark of a new sound from Lawrence, both taken from 2021’s synth-inspired album The Avalanche. Standalone single ‘California Screaming’ was a crowd favourite and will be familiar to 6 Music listeners, as Lawrence explores how the constant onslaught of disaster news can be incredibly anxiety-inducing.

Stopping briefly to praise the curry she had at Cutlery Works earlier that day, Lawrence plays tracks from her 2019 album Pity Party which feels much more recognisable to the Sheffield crowd, potentially because ‘Avalanche’ was released amidst a Covid-heavy news output. The effervescent rhythm of ‘Navigator’ and punchy bassline of ‘None of My Friends’ are gig highlights, as well as the marvellous ‘USP’ which is a cleverly articulated rebuke at industry misogyny.

A humorously static encore (“...in case nobody is there when I arrive back on stage”) follows as Lawrence plays the soothingly melancholic ‘10 Breaths’ and finishes on the indie bop, spoken-word vocal of ‘Babies’. The receptive and expressive audience will hopefully encourage Lawrence to return to South Yorkshire, as her multifaceted and powerful live sets make her an artist with an exceptional talent.

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