“Isn’t this f****** brilliant?”
2,500. It’s a figure some of you may call small, and others may call large, but I call it unbelievable. 2,500 is the number of people I stood shoulder to shoulder with at Becky Hill’s outdoor gig last week. Times Square, an open-air venue in the heart of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne hosted one of the first live gigs for nearly 18 months. And boy was it a good one. The English singer-songwriter and pop-house starlet Becky Hill returned to the North-East almost a year after her last live appearance. Her last gig here featured socially distanced seating areas and the promise of a good time. But ultimately, it was a safe yet all-encompassing environment.
The recent gig in Times Square however was very much a different story. Cosy queues longing for booze and merchandise, plastic ponchos in every direction, and, most importantly, no social distancing. It’s been less than a month since social distancing guidelines were abolished but being toe-to-toe with a bunch of strangers was still a scary thought.
Dutch courage eased my anxieties to begin with and by the end of the night, my apprehension about the crowds and the hanging danger of COVID were gone. The atmosphere, the excitement, and the surrealness of it all were intoxicating; one woman even said, and I quote, “Isn’t this f****** brilliant?” And Becky Hill didn’t half put on a smashing performance.
Despite not having a full, studio album to her name (though it is arriving very soon!) Hill’s discography is still impressive and completely memorable in the current musical landscape.
The 27-year-old gained fame after becoming a semi-finalist in the first series of The Voice UK way back in 2012. To this day, she is one of very few contestants who has blossomed in the music biz.
Hill’s first, major hit was a feature on Wilkinson’s song Afterglow (2013), which she also co-wrote, before gaining her first, UK number one with Gecko (Overdrive), a house track by Dutch DJ Oliver Heldens.
To list all of Becky’s collaborations would take quite a while, as the artist has spent a large chunk of her career working with others rather than focusing on her solo career.
But her debut, studio album titled Only Honest On The Weekend is due to be released on the 20th of August. The long-awaited release includes chart-topping hits like Better Off Without You (with Shift K3Y), Remember (with David Guetta) and Heaven On My Mind (with Sigala).
These floor fillers were favourites with the audience at Live From Times Square, the setlist featuring the best of Becky Hill and a few teasers from her upcoming record.
Becky was an abundance of energy, interacting with the crowd and belting out spectacular vocals that blew the house down. Donning a sparkling gold jumpsuit, Hill was a welcomed vision as she boogied along the stage.
And the North East’s drizzly weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as fans danced and sang the night away. It was a moment of euphoria following the doom and gloom of the last 18 months, and one every person relished in. The mood and fever of the gig reflected just how much everyone has missed live music, and Becky did a fantastic job of bringing the crowd together to revel in the joy it brings.
But Hill is renowned as a crowd-pleaser, always putting on a good show. I’m sure she’ll be welcomed back to the Toon with open arms after the show-stopping performance she gave last week.
Becky’s calendar looks busy in the upcoming months. She’s performing at Isle of Wight Festival next month and touring across the UK throughout October.
You’ll not want to miss the opportunity to dance the night away with one of UK pop’s biggest stars.
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