Support: The Dunwells, Antonio Lulic, Annie Donaghy
It’s almost been a decade since York born and bred’s Beth McCarthy sprung onto the music scene, with the city watching her grow from touring the UK to appearing on The Voice UK at 16 years old and now, she’s headlining a packed and virtually sold out Fibbers show to mark the release of her brand new EP. As she put it, ‘the old Beth is dead’ and we’re seeing her move forward in an amazing new direction.
I did arrive late as I was coming straight work so I missed some of Annie Donaghy’s set but I manage to catch her last few songs. What I did observe was an emerging talent, possibly someone who could potentially be the next Beth, but honestly, I think some of her nerves did get the better of her but in time, I’m sure she’ll shake those off.
Antonio Lulic. The one word I’d use to describe him? Above anything else, it would be eccentric. Mainly because he’s so furiously entertaining that the audience couldn’t keep their eyes off of him. Just from his performance, you can see why he’s still alive and kicking on the tour circuit. He’s so charismatic which leads directly into his vocals which provides him with the opportunity to play alongside so many people. But here you can see why he’s a leading man with his Ricky Martin-esque swagger. He delights in the stories, wows the audience and his lyrics are one above the average you see in the dingy tiny bars you commonly see.
Moving to The Dunwells. I will admit I was a little bit sceptical about this dynamic duo. They’re an act I’ve never come across before but after the first few tracks, they gave off quite a mesmerising performance and I’ll say it, one of the UK’s best-kept secrets in terms of musical acts. The dynamic between is one you only see every so often but they were in perfect sync with one another, it was a little freaky but they’re an act that’s not unlike a good comedian. They’ve learned to have fun with each other on stage, not taking themselves too seriously between their songs which makes it all the more special for the audience to watch.
Now, I’ve seen Beth play a few times and she just continuously keeps growing. That’s the best thing about this woman, where it was just her an acoustic guitar the last time I saw her play at The Crescent just down the road. I will admit, she did break out her acoustic guitar again, where a little of the old Beth’s spirit is encased in that respect but as far as her growing as an artist, her lyrics are somewhat more powerful and more spiritual to her and the audience. Given that some were written and co-written by The Dunwells there’s definitely the sense of originality but with the atmosphere Beth and her stage team bring, it’s emphatically aware that she’s ready for bigger and better things. But here, she’s injecting herself into the mainstream audience to give music exactly what’s needed. This is something that isn’t the generic and manufactured female singer we’ve all heard on the radio which interjects directly into the stage show. Now, this isn’t where the band just simply plugged in and played, this would be a gross understatement of just what occurred on the night. There was a very well done light show to accompany her sound and the fog added a good touch to a mysterious dynamic we haven’t seen on her before.
Beth has and is continuing to defy what it means to be an artist in this day and age where from busking to this show, her steps here I’m sure will catapult her to mainstream success to where she is a little girl with a great big voice.
Check out Beth’s music video for ‘Wildfire’ below.