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Gig review: Beabadoobee @ O2 Academy Bristol

Clad in a torn-up suit jacket and knee-high boots, Beabadoobee owned the stage at the O2.

Featured Image by Jake Paterson 

by Oscar Ross, Music Editor

From crackly bedroom-pop recordings to blasting, punky tunes, the Beabadoobee showed off her full range at O2 Academy.

Weaving through a sea of diehard Beabadoobee fans, waiting in herds outside in the rain before the O2 doors opened and almost exclusively sporting Doc Martens and fish-nets, I enjoyed a night of punk and bedroom-pop from Pretty Sick and the amazing Beabadoobee.

Excited for their debut Bristol show, American supporting act Pretty Sick kickstarted the night with some perfectly grungy rock tunes. Channelling a classic teen punk sound, the powerful three-piece, led by the magnetic Sabrina Fuentes, use two bass guitars rather than traditional guitar and bass drum set up (one using an octave), fuelling both their burning hot, grittier tunes like 'Dumb' as well as providing gentle body to their more ambient songs such as 'Superstar' and 'Black Tar'.

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To the sound of deafening teenage screams, Beabadoobee owned the stage from the second she stepped out, clad in a torn-up suit jacket and knee-high boots, sporting a huge smile as she wasted no time starting up her set. Glittery, jump-up bangers electrified the crowd song after song as Beabadoobee bonded with her audience, shouting out how she’s missed Bristol as well as bringing an intimate, half-shy stage presence that made the crowd only scream for more.

Beabadoobee @ O2 Academy Bristol / Jake Paterson 

The crowd, on the other hand, were definitely not shy. From throwing red panda plush toys onto the stage to stereotypical hysteric screams and “I LOVE YOU BEAAA” echoing around the O2, this certainly showed off the demographic of the ever-energetic Beabadoobee fan base.

The 22-year-old singer/songwriter’s control of her crowd’s energy and command of the stage was amazing to watch: getting the whole crowd down to the ground during her first song, immediately setting the tone, bringing punky, hair-swinging energy to her heavier, shouted tunes, as well as chiller vibes to her songs off Beatopia. For these newer tunes, Beabadoobee ditched her guitar to groove across the stage, mic in hand, jumping down to the front row or sitting on the edge of the stage to sing directly to her clamouring diehard fans.

Beabadoobee @ O2 Academy Bristol / Jake Paterson 

However, my favourite part of Beabadoobee’s performance was the two-song acoustic break towards the end of the night. Here the set was stripped back to just acoustic guitar as Beabadoobee sang her heart out alongside the crowd for her intimate, bedroom-pop hit single 'Coffee' and again for her more recent melancholy ballad, which the singer admitted to finding difficult to play live on account of its meaning to her. To the encouraging shouts of the crowd, Beabadoobee killed it on this deeply personal song, rallying straight afterwards to bring down the house with one last fiery, gritty, guitar-driven tune: 'Cologne'.

Overall, an amazing night, with brilliant music and a wonderful atmosphere. This is a set I am looking forward to seeing again as soon as I can.

Listen to Pretty Sick and Beabadoobee's music here:

Photography by Jake Paterson

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