When was the last time Wales produced a proper good female solo singer? Bonnie Tyler? Lisa Scott Lee? Duffy?! You see my point, so it’s about time another came out of the Valleys to shine and right now we’ve got the uber talented Betsy making a name for herself in bold, powerful pop. Following the release of her self-titled debut album, Betsy is on a short UK tour, so on Wednesday night she came to Manchester to perform at Gorilla.

A perfect venue for a debut solo tour, Gorilla has the intimacy ideal for an up and coming artist to interact with the crowd and understand who is their fanbase. Statuesque and self-assured, Betsy burst onto the stage with opening feel good track ‘Lost & Found’. It’s clear Betsy is a natural performer, for a debut tour it’s refreshing to see the artist move so easily around the stage without any inhibitions, it’s always a bit awkward when a new artist clearly has no idea how to relax onstage. With her Blonde Ambition inspired ponytail, Betsy’s innate glamour gave her performance grace and star appeal. She flowed through the track list confidently. Her bewitching vocals are like no other I’ve heard live before. It’s a mix of Antony Hegarty, Annie Lennox and Cher. She even sampled Cher’s ‘Believe’ cleverly into her track ‘Heavy Head’ with instant delight from the crowd; “I’ve been stalking Cher on Twitter, she’s having none of it. Sending locks of my hair, apparently that’s creepy, so this was the closest I could get to her!”

After belting out bluesy number ‘Hope’, she introduced us to her amazing band, every one of them female, or as she called them her “Girl Power Band”. Her cellist added depth and drama to each track, especially on the Clean Bandit-esque ‘So Much Love’. Betsy had an endearing quality about her, especially when she’s bantering with the crowd; every now and again she’d just say “bloody marvelous” in between each track in her thick Welsh accent; “…good to see you’ve all had a drink, I can’t stand a sober crowd, bloody marvelous!”

Fan favourite ‘Little White Lies’ guaranteed love from the crowd, as did penultimate track, the stomper ‘Last Time We Danced’. Back for an encore, she belted out breakout track ‘Wanted More’, dancing around the stage one last time to clearly cement her status as Wales’ next big thing.

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Words by Tom Frodsham.

Fancy listening to some of the best artists performing across Manchester in the coming months? Listen below for our latest playlist previewing those in town for this month’s best shows!

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