Words by Beth Madden. Photos by Ged Camera.
From the second she steps onto the stage for sprawling ballad ‘Don’t Worry About Me’, Frances has the audience captivated. Seemingly to her own surprise as she comments on how quiet the crowd were for the acapella-intro of the opening song. Having recently come off tour with James Bay, small quiet rooms must be somewhat of a change of tempo. Her warm temperament and her inter-song banter contrast with the power of her performances and make her even more appealing as an artist.
The format of the show didn’t stray too far away from that of recent debut album ‘Things I’ve Never Said’. The 23-year-old vocalist clearly feels most at home firmly behind the piano, describing the front of stage as “unchartered territory”. Yet, it’s when she does venture out that she demonstrates her versatility as an artist. Her sound is something like Adele and Jess Glynne rolled into one and similarly to these artists, she also has an education in performing arts after studying Music at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Songs like ‘Borrowed Time’ and ‘No Matter’ would not be out of place on a sunny afternoon at the main stage of a festival. The former was written with Disclosure’s Howard Lawrence, and it shows.
Her skills as both a songwriter and musician are undeniable. The raw emotion of her performance shines through on ‘The Last Word’, ‘Under Our Feet’ and ‘Sublime’ as she takes the room back down to a slower pace. Her music appeals to a wide age group, leaving one astonished audience member to describe her as an “immense talent”. Not surprising, after nominations for BRITS Critic’s Choice Award and BBC Sound of 2017, it seems it’s only a matter of time before Frances makes it big.
Frances performed at Gorilla on Monday 3rd April 2017.