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Review: Maisie Peters @ O2 Academy

Touring her sophomore album, rising pop-star Maisie Peters cast the O2 academy into a dazzling bubble of whimsical pop

By Toni Baynes, Third Year English

I’ve been following Maisie since before her debut album was released because of her charming social media presence: she ran an online book club and has a lovely community of the girls, gays and they’s. Her witty personality shines through into her music with pop-hit after pop-hit bursting with catchy yet sentimental lyrics which have solidified her status as one of the rising stars in British pop.

She greeted the crowd with the titular opening track of the album ‘The Good Witch’ which starts with an echoey, sonic surge to fuel the anticipation for what comes next: ‘Still me here, do you think I forgot about you?’ It felt like she was directly addressing the fans and the crowd with this lyric, and highlights from the get-go how this album feels like it was written to perform live.

This dynamic quality was evident in her lyrics but also her stage presence as throughout the gig she seemed to sing both to and with the audience and bounced off the crowd’s energy just like we were bouncing off hers.

Maisie Peters @ O2 Academy | Toni Baynes

Possibly my favourite moment of the night was during ‘There It Goes’ where she encouraged the crowd to shout the reflective yet hopeful lyrics of the song which holds the hand of the past, whilst also holding a hopeful hand out to the better future. She doesn’t shy away from this writing style despite there being a lot of pressure for women to write about more than just their love lives and emotions in hopes of avoiding their work being misogynystically confined into a box. But Maisie embraces this, she writes about real experiences and her lyrical diary entry-like honesty is what makes it so relatable.

The communal release of emotion through singing along to live music and feeling like a part of something bigger than yourself is, to me, the most magical thing about live music. And if Maisie did anything it was create an atmosphere of magic. With the inflatable clouds bordering the stage and the disco ball reflecting glimmers of light onto the crowd the very visual, witchy, and bubbly tone of the album was dreamily reflected on stage.

Maisie Peters @ O2 Academy | Toni Baynes

Her lovely, safe online community I described was also materialised on stage. Her stage presence during the whole gig was top-notch, between songs she chatted to the audience like we were long-term friends and the whole band were clearly just having the best time performing, with Tina (her keyboard player) and Maisie having an adorable little dance together during a song. It created such an intimate and fun atmosphere where you could sing your heart out to her lyrics which capture the struggles of what it means to be a young woman so concisely but also jump around during the pop-perfect, catchy, singalong choruses.

Yes, her songs are bops, and from my first listen to the new album I knew it would come alive in concert, but I was still so pleasantly surprised with how great she was live with her impressive vocals and stage presence. I haven’t been able to stop listening to her since the gig and would wholly suggest that anyone who likes her music try to get tickets for any of her future gigs.

Featured Image: Abi Devine

Have you seen Maisie Peters live?