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Review: Cian Ducrot @ O2 Academy

After supporting Ed Sheehan, Cian Ducrot landed in Bristol touring his new record 'Victory'.

By Eilidh Rivers-Bell, Third Year English and Philosophy

On that last Sunday of November Cian Ducrot performed to a sold out Bristol 02 Academy. After the success of his debut album 'Victory', which topped the Irish charts, Ducrot went on to support Ed Sheeran on his world tour, and is now going global himself with his headline 'Victory Tour'.

Ducrot's path to success was not a straight forward one, trying his hand at busking with the guitar to professional flute training in London at the Royal Academy and Paris Conservatoire. His enthusiasm from a young age is evident, which perhaps isn’t surprising given his mum was a music teacher. As a teenager he was awarded a scholarship at the prestigious Wells Cathedral School, just 20 miles from Bristol. While his songs are consistent piano pop ballads, the clear classical influence is not lost. Ducrotended his performance of  'Endless Nights' with a flute solo, and showed his hand at the piano and guitar live too. This ability to cross genres serves as a testament to his commitment to his craft, regardless of your opinion the music itself. 

Ducrot first rose to fame online, amounting 113million likes on the video sharing platform TikTok, where he posts clips of himself performing. His two most viewed videos, amassing over 100million views each, contain footage of him in public places, such as the subway, performing his songs with an undercover choir. HIs other videos feature him at the barrier of his concerts, holding hands with the audience. Ducrot’s lyrics throughout his debut album touch on a range of deeply personal experiences, giving him a sense of relatability. One of his most popular songs ‘Part Of Me’ touches on the tragic suicide of his best friend. As the track came to an end he stood at the front of the stage and repeated ‘you are so loved, I want you to know that’, a person in the back shouted ‘so are you’. Thus despite being best known through a screen, Cian Ducrot seems to have forged very genuine connections with fans, which cannot be easy to do. 

Holly Whittaker, Chuff Media

Perhaps the only thing that could have affected Ducrot'sperformance was the crowd. I have never attended a headline concert where the audience talked through some of the songs as if he was barely there. When the singles were played, silence fell and phone cameras came out, but even when Ducrot sang slowly about his mother, the people behind us through it was an appropriate time to talk about their local pizza restaurant. This in no way takes away from the talent that we were watching, and if he realised it was happening it in no way affected his confidence on stage. Instead it is perhaps an opportunity to consider audience etiquette and the ever changing face of the live music scene. Platforms like TikTok have given so many artists a spotlight where previously they may have not been able to have it, and yet if only some of their songs go 'viral' what does this mean for the their career? It seems uncomfortable to admit that sometimes entire audiences are choosing to go to an artist for one song rather than paying attention to a notable back catalogue. 

As Ducrot built up for his final song, the viral hit ‘I'll Be Waiting’, he began to describe a box he had in the entrance to the concert, for the audience to write down their own small 'victories'. He said that he wanted to honour all of the extraordinary things his fans did, however big or small they may seem. This concert may be a celebration of his extraordinary year in music, but ultimately it was the people who helped to get him this far that Cian Ducrot sought to celebrate.

Featured Image: Chuff Media

Have you seen Cian Ducrot live?