REVIEW: Anne-Marie commences UK tour at O2 Boscombe by OLLIE TUNMORE

Last night breakthrough star Anne-Marie performed the first night of her long-awaited UK tour, promoting her debut album ‘Speak Your Mind’. Carrying on from a considerable leg of European dates, Anne-Marie performed to a sold-out O2 Academy on the sunny May evening.

Beginning the show with a dramatic lighting introduction complete with sirens and strobes, she ran on stage to thunderous cheers, opening with hit ‘Bad Girlfriend’. Continuing to perform tracks off her debut album including ‘Heavy’ and ‘Cry’, she then paused to introduced herself, the show and connect with fans.

Before performing album track ‘Perfect’, she sat facing the back of the stage, the lights dimmed, and a short video sequence commenced, sharing short clips of fans and celebrities sharing what being ‘perfect’ means to them; including Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes and several LGTBQ+ and transgendered fans. A recurring theme, Anne-Marie is clearly a woman on a mission with this tour – to spread a positive and open outlook and share important messages from different communities.

Next, she performed 2017 super-hit ‘Ciao Adios’, followed by ‘Can I Get Your Number’, before pausing again to explain break-out track ‘Alarm’. “When I wrote this song, I was angry, very angry.” She continued: “I was on holiday with my boyfriend at the time, he came home at 7am smelling of another woman. Obviously, I broke up with him… and this track was the result!” Followed by her famous sharp cackle.

Slowing the pace down a notch, she then sat centre-stage to perform the more mellow, reflective track of the album – ‘Then’. The tone in the venue noticeably shifts, with fans paying intrinsic attention to Anne-Marie and nothing else. She laughs and points at a crowd member: “Did that make you cry?! Oh, me too babe.” Showing her charismatic and energetic persona that comes across so well on stage and through her music.

Concluding the show with international phenomena ‘Rockabye’, she gave a microphone to a fan and asked for help singing duo-member Sean Paul’s verse. Unquestionably receiving the greatest singalong and audience interaction of the evening, she brought a real energy and passion to the final few songs.

With Anne-Marie touring with only the one album to her name, there was really only one note and tone throughout the production. Reflecting on the show the next morning, some songs rolled into one and I struggle to differentiate.

One thing is for sure about the Anne-Marie live experience however - her vocals are possibly even better than on recorded tracks. She pours such passion into her performance and hits notes many others would struggle with, and you can feel the admiration and love she holds for her fans while on stage. She has already made a firm imprint on the UK music scene as a pop-star to watch, and I do look forward to seeing what direction she continues in after this album era.