Cian Ducrot at Hammersmith Apollo
Irish singer-songwriter Cian Ducrot is on a North American and European tour, celebrating his new album, Victory; on 21st November, he made a pit stop at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith. Ducrot is no stranger to live performances; despite only having two years of released music under his belt, he has toured alongside big-time artists like LANY and Ed Sheeran, and he seems like a live show veteran rather than a rookie on stage.
The gig starts with a bang; guitarist Peter Wilson takes the stage and makes way for Ducrot, setting him up with an epic electric riff. Victory is the first song of the night, and the combination of light beams and the loud, ground-shaking sounds exploding from the stage build anticipation among the tightly packed crowd. When the song reaches its peak, confetti covers the crowd and the audience roars with excitement. The next track, Mama, is slower and more personal; the crowd match this energy but returns to their original ecstaticism when the beginning notes of Heaven play. After Heaven, Ducrot stands tall with a wide grin and gives everyone a warm welcome. While improvising on the piano, he discusses how playing at a large space like the Eventim Apollo is like a dream, and how his latest record dives into how he’s achieved his goals. “It’s absolutely unbelievable,” he says, still sporting the same loving smile as before.
He then introduces the next track, Him, with a smooth transition on the piano. The supporting melodies of the backing track and the colourful lighting that matches every beat make for a theatrical scene. During Endless Nights, Ducrot dusts off his flute and plays an impressive solo, once again causing the crowd to clap and cheer along. Although the cheers were loud enough to hear outside the venue, they grew even louder when Ducrot proudly introduced English singer-songwriter Ella Henderson for the next track, Rest of Our Days. Not only is Henderson a beloved artist, but this was the first-ever live performance of the collaborative Christmas tune. Although the audience was thrilled by the guest appearance, they were even more enthusiastic for what was to come.
How Do You Know? was next, and Ducrot’s vocals remained solid. Fans sang louder than before if that was even possible. He continues on with some more acoustic and piano-based tracks, performing Hurt When You Hurt Me, the hit All for You, and Blame It on You. Step Dad is different from previous tracks; the production is electronic rather than acoustic, but the crowd remains energised regardless of the switch. The classic piano ballad returns with Everyone Who Falls In Love (Has Someone Else They’re Thinking Of). Although the song is sombre in its original recording, the combination of the heavy electric guitar, drum, bass, and hollers from fans, causes the walls to shake and the floor to rumble. Ducrot then plays Part of Me, which, too, is sombre in its studio version; the audience, however, has a deep love for the song and passionately sings along with Ducrot while swaying back and forth, hands on hearts and arms around friends. The set continues with Thank God You Stayed and finishes with his most popular number, I’ll Be Waiting. The confetti cannons return and bits of purple-pink paper scattered across the venue one last time to wrap up the night.
One would never think that Ducrot is a relatively “new” artist; between his confident stage presence, smooth vocals and enthusiastic fanbase that matched the energy of every tune, the performance remained lively, even during the sadder, slower moments. Cian Ducrot is certainly a name to watch, and his next show in Norwich will surely be a great one.
Photos: Guifre de Peray
For further information and future events visit Cian Ducrot’s website here.
Watch the video for the single I’ll Be Waiting here: