Review/ Mabel @ O2 Academy

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By Daisy Hall, Third Year Psychology

Daisy Hall reviews Mabel and Ruel at Bristol's O2 Academy.

Even at the tender age of 16, Ruel has already gained himself a well-established set of fans; many of whom I’m sure would be surprised to learn of his age, especially considering his height and incredible voice.

Ruel’s songs are melodic and enjoyable, despite the lyrics being far from light-hearted. His voice is powerful and perfectly suited to his set which hints at an incredible acoustic sound part way through. His tracks ‘Not Thinkin’ Bout You’, ‘Dazed & Confused’ and ‘Don’t Tell Me’ went down especially well, entertaining the variety of ages within the crowd. Indeed, ‘Don’t Tell Me’ was justifiably highly praised by Elton John after he played the track on BBC Radio One.

Despite the maturity of his songs, however, Ruel doesn’t yet seem fully comfortable on stage in front of a sold-out crowd. Mabel is a confident, powerful performer, and the contrast between the two artists really stood out, although I understand the importance of touring with well-established artists in order to get Ruel’s name out, something that he certainly deserves.

Mabel is a brilliant performer and her ability to completely own a stage, even when accompanied by two fierce dancers, was fantastic. The three women put their all into the performance and the effect on the crowd was magnificent.

Since bursting onto the pop scene in 2015 with ‘Know Me Better’, Mabel has gone from strength to strength and won the ‘MTV Brand New’ award in 2018. Any frequent radio listener will undoubtedly have heard her more popular tracks such as ‘Ring Ring’ and ‘Finders Keepers’. The upbeat, dance tracks also feature on pre-drink playlists across the country, getting everyone in the mood for a good night out.

Both Ruel and Mabel are just starting out in their music careers and we can expect much more from them in the future, so I would recommend catching their shows as they tour the UK.

Featured Image: Mabel/ Polydor Records


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