Twenty-two year old former X-Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan loves a good anecdote or pearl of wisdom between songs, even though most of them proved fairly emotionally lightweight.
Lucy Spraggan - Picture House, Edinburgh
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“I was reading about World War Two and I read this story and it was, like, pretty inspirational,” she offered as her creative motivation for the song Rockcliffe Bay, for example, while the drum-heavy main set finale Safe was written when she was 15, about the person she was seeing “going on holiday to Tunisia for two weeks”, which was “the worst thing in the world” at the time.
She spoke of this latter memory with a self-deprecating tone, and her inquiries as to how many of her crowd were in their mid-teens (answer: quite a few amidst the half-full house) elicited sympathy regarding what she seems to consider to be the least enjoyable stage of life, in her experience so far. Yet despite the Sheffield-raised singer’s ambivalent relationship with and departure from X-Factor, having left through illness roughly a year ago, her songs display a lightweight edge that’s at home with the Saturday night prime-time crowd.
There was a pedestrian exhortation to take a risk when opportunity knocks in Join the Club, the title track of her new album, the student-friendly signature ode to alcohol and consequences Last Night (Beer Fear), and a pointed display of musical ludditery in Don’t Know Nothing About the Blues. Yet her tendency to rap was best displayed on the surprisingly gritty You’re Too Young and her ability with a great chorus shone during Wait For Me, pointing to an undoubted talent that’s still just a bit too work-in-progress.