Rhys Lewis took to the stage of the O2 Institute this Saturday 23 rd as he began his debut tour. Having last visited Birmingham as the support act for Freya Ridings, Rhys was rightfully ecstatic to be back here for his very own gig, and he did not disappoint his audience.
His show was a particularly emotional set which distinguished his performance apart from many other artists. The show contained mainly ‘depressing love songs’, labelled by Rhys himself, which already established a stripped back atmosphere to the gig, with the plain black backdrop and minimal lighting adding to this feeling. However, this was made most noticeable in his very raw performance of ‘This Time of Year’, his Christmas single.
Rhys explained the reason behind the creation of his newest track. Both himself and his father lost people they loved around the festive period and he decided to write the song in their memory. Therefore, the song was very personal and very emotional, made clear in his performance. Rid of his guitar and eyes shut, he sang. The audience were mesmerised by the performance and many you could see with a tear in their eye. It was a particularly moving moment for a live performance.
Despite this, he kept spirits high and people dancing. As he chatted about Naked Attraction and Yogi Tea he filled the hour easily and had the crowd laughing. However, he obviously seemed nervous as he tried to respond to shouts from the crowd. It was clear he didn’t quite know how to react as various yelling commenced from the back of the Institute. This made it clear just how new to the artistry Rhys Lewis really is.
Rhys Lewis only started releasing music in 2016, beginning with his first single ‘Waking Up Without You’. Since then, he has slowly been releasing music year on year, culminating in his most recent track, ‘Be Your Man’, in 2019. And just 3 years after his first release, he is now touring his very own music. This makes it evident just how successful Rhys has been in such a short space of time, having reached over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify. It makes it clear that Rhys Lewis is an artist to watch.
By Grace Lea