Review: Arlo Parks @ the O2 Academy

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By Josh Templeman, Digital Music Editor

Right off the back of a huge stint in North America, London-based Arlo Parks takes to the O2 Academy for the second Bristol leg of her Collapsed in Sunbeams tour.

2021 has been a monumental year for Arlo Parks. Back in January she released her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, an album that was met with widespread critical acclaim, collecting this year’s Mercury Prize. This, alongside a swathe of nominations across some of music’s most prestigious award shows, has cemented Arlo’s position as one of the most exciting musical talents coming out of the UK. Therefore, this time around, unlike her previous tour in March 2020 that was cancelled due to reasons I’m sure I don’t need to disclose, Arlo arrives a much more established artist and one who surprised nobody with her widespread demand, with the gig selling out rapidly upon release.

Joesef in support of Arlo Parks / Lydia Titcombe

In support was the incredibly talented Joesef, back in Bristol after his performance at The Louisiana just weeks prior. Opening with his track ‘Does it make you feel good?’, the Glaswegian-born singer wasted no time in injecting some much-desired energy into the packed crowd. Following this, he performed a number of his fan-favourite tracks, including the popular ‘Comedown’ that he played on his edition of ‘A COLOURS SHOW’ last year. Fans were even treated to his newest track, ‘Fire’, that released just around a month prior to the show. Joesef’s rise to the top is inevitable; his confidence performing live, soulful vocals and clever song writing signal that he is destined for greatness.

Next was Park’s turn to perform to the already-passionate crowd. Her vastly diverse repertoire made for an exciting performance; opening track ‘Hurt’ got heads bopping and fans singing along, ‘Green Eyes’ got the crowd swaying and encore track ‘Hope’ sent people into the cold Bristol night, euphoric in the talent they’d just witnessed.

My only complaint – though it is technically Easy Life’s track, I’d have loved to have seen Arlo perform ‘Sangria’. Having seen Easy Life perform the track two weeks prior, with the crowd filling in for Arlo’s part, I see no reason why the equally passionate crowd on Arlo’s night wouldn’t have done the same for the Leicester-based band's section of the song.

Either way, the only way is upwards for Arlo Parks. Currently, she is selling out shows all around Europe, only further growing and consolidating her already expansive fanbase. After this tour, one thing is for certain – she will continue to spearhead the exciting roster of talent coming out of the UK.

Featured image: Lydia Titcombe


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