She’s not even released her debut album yet, but Lucy Rose is causing a serious stir. We caught up with the rising star ahead of her biggest solo gig to date, at London’s Heaven.
2011 was a big year for Lucy Rose, with rapturously received releases and sell-out live shows, 2012 has so far beaten it hands down.
In the past few months, the singer-songwriter has put the finishing touches to her debut album, been signed to Sony offshoot Columbia, plus performed with Bombay Bicycle Club all over America and at their triumphant London gig at Alexandra Palace. That night, during the band’s encore, she was hoisted onto the shoulders of guitarist Jamie MacColl and paraded around the stage.
“I didn’t want a shoulder ride, but yeah, the view, looking out on 8,000 people all dancing, was pretty special. I was just trying not to laugh the whole time,” she recalls.
On June 20 she headlines London’s Heaven, her biggest solo show to date. The same day she’ll also turn 23, not that she’ll be mentioning it.
“The guys in my band say they’re going to bring a cake on stage, but I would hate that. I’m still quite shy and don’t like things like that,” she says. “I still get so nervous going on stage, I don’t think I’d know what to do if everyone started singing Happy Birthday or something.”
Lucy Rose’s three releases so far (all glorious acoustic folk-pop), Middle Of The Bed, Scar and Red Face, all made BBC Radio 6Music Singles Of The Week, meaning there’s already an anticipation for her debut album, which she hopes will be released in September.
We caught up with her to find out just how her decision to turn down a place at University College London a few years ago is most definitely paying off.
How has the tour been going?
It’s been fantastic. The Cardiff show was great. Mumford & Sons were playing in Cardiff on the same night, so I was a bit worried no-one would come to see me, but our venue was packed. Maybe it was just all the Mumford haters that came to my gig.
And how was the tour with Bombay Bicycle Club?
It was great. We did five weeks in America and Canada. And the UK leg was brilliant. Ally Pally was especially good.
Has touring with them affected your own shows? Do you feel more confident having spent so much more time on stage?
Definitely. I’ve got my pre-show warm-up sorted now, warming my voice and things. It’s just practicing, really, so playing with them has been great for that. I think I sing better now, and I definitely look after my voice more. It’s annoying, but worth it.
And has it given you more ambition? Does playing in front of 8,000 people make you want similar-sized shows of your own one day?
I don’t really think that far ahead. I feel so far away from their level at the moment. I just want to release an album and I want people to like it. I have ambitions, but I don’t really look into the future.
The reaction to your singles has been great. Do you pay attention to what people are saying and writing about you?
I know a bit, but I don’t really indulge in reviews and things. It’s too weird. I try not to think about it all too much. Googling yourself is a sin, and I reckon reading positive things about yourself is just as detrimental to your health as reading the negative stuff.
Are you looking forward to the show at Heaven?
I’m terrified. I worry too much, I know that, but I am excited really. I just hope it goes well. It’s the same night as my birthday, but I’m not sure if it’s a good way to celebrate or not. I don’t want to turn 23 either. That’s quite old for a musician isn’t it?
Is your album finished?
Yes, all done. I’d always imagined it coming out this year, and when I signed to Columbia a few weeks ago there was a debate about the release date. September is soon, I realise, but fingers crossed that’s when it’ll be. I’ve been touring these songs for over a year now, so I want get on with writing album number two. I’m brimming with ideas.
How similar is the rest of the album to the songs we’ve heard?
They’re representative, you could say. But the next single is quite ridiculous. It’s got four extreme tempo changes in it, a reggae bit and a hip hop beat. Describing it like that sounds awful, but it works, I promise.