Earlier this week we headed down to Omeara in London to see Anne-Marie play an incredible show in a small venue in support of War Child. Artists including The 1975, You Me At Six and Tom Odell playing shows in London in support of the charity, there truly was something for everyone this year. Live music can help save lives in many ways with tonight being just one example of this, with high hopes and a real sense of excitement in the venue; we weren’t ready for what the night was to bring. From the incredible setlist which made the sweaty venue even sweatier to the love shared both onstage and in the crowd. Here are five things we absolutely loved about this special show.
The Supporting Artist
The packed out venue was getting restless and eager for music, lucky for them the supporting act on the night was Hamzaa. Announced the day before the show it gave fans just enough time to find out about the upcoming, London artist who had fans littered through the crowd. Her soothing tones reminded us of Jessie J mixed in with Adele, packed with emotion understanding the pain and heartbreak she was singing of. We loved how real Hamzaa was onstage, having a laugh, a boogie and even a little stage whilst still managing to captivate the audience. The minimalistic stage up made this an even more powerful set as tracks such as You and Breathing highlighted Hamzaa with the later helping the artist find out who she wants to be. The night started off in beautiful style thanks to the solo star shining brightly on Omeara’s stage.
With Anne-Marie being 2018’s biggest selling debut artist, this was going to be a hit-filled setlist and our expectations were totally smashed during the course of the night. Fans were treated to favourites including Ciao Adios which started the night with a full crowd participation singalong. Anne-Marie’s debut album Speak Your Mind became one of our album’s of the year thanks to it having a track for pretty much every occasion, giving us the chance to hear it live and brought to life was just what we needed on a Tuesday night. With Bad Girlfriend being the dance track of the set, with drumsticks to kick off the looped chorus to Perfect To Me being the ultimate song of self-love and appreciation. Anne-Marie has always shown how important it is to love yourself, be comfortable in your body and appreciate you and it truly felt like in that moment of the set everyone was loving themselves too. 2002 was one of the biggest singalong anthems of 2018, put this in a small venue when it’s performed by a very smiley singer and her supportive live band who couldn’t be having more fun onstage if they tried then you have a recipe for a great evening. In ending the night on Friends, it was one last chance to get rid of all the energy you were lucky enough to have left, sweat even more and take one more look around at the adoring crowd witnessing something truly special right before their eyes.
Anne-Marie’s Incredible Interaction With The Fans
We got to witness first hand the incredible relationship between Anne-Marie and her fans and honestly, we’ve not seen anything like it in a long time. Thanks to the intimacy of the venue the fans were up close and incredible personal with the singer so much so it provided a chance for chats to take place during the night. Whether this was when Beth asked to do Sean Paul’s section on Rockabye and provided one of the most memorable duets we’ve ever heard or when Anne-Marie told the story of a fan she met outside Fashion Week and asked if she could play Breathing Fire at the show which she obviously did! These interactions reminded everyone in the room how despite all her success, Anne-Marie hasn’t forgotten the people who have helped her get to this point. Name-checking fans and having a little midset catch up, admiring artwork created and giving out free hugs to anyone smart enough to have brought along a free hugs sign! With the BRIT Awards the following night, a fan project was organised with posters letting Anne-Marie know that regardless of the outcome she’s always their winner. As you can expect the joy on her face upon realising was enough to melt anyone’s heart. It was a set which just made you feel warm and fuzzy inside, especially when she took the time to reminisce on how they’ve grown up together. We’ll admit we do wish we were friends with Anne-Marie too!
The Sweaty But Electric Atmosphere
Whether you were there as a fan or there as a partner or parent, it was impossible to not get involved in the excitement of the night. There was no way to escape being extremely sweaty with Anne-Marie herself regretting wearing a tight, zebra print dress worrying about fans taking unflattering photos of her, we can confirm we’re yet to see any from this night! Anne-Marie might be the most real artist we’ve been lucky enough to see onstage, giving us an insight into her new year’s resolution and changes of trying to cut back on swearing (and failing!) or how she feels much more positive in 2019 and hopes we all do too. Noting other changes in 2019 these included; her new sparkly microphone, Beanie getting a new necklace, Ashton getting a new haircut and Oli getting a new dog but not being able to name the breed… awkward. Taking us back to just pre-Heavy release, she told the story of being in this venue and performing not knowing that two years on she’d be a BRIT nominated artist. The electric atmosphere remained even through the most emotional of tracks; Then saw the singer get visibly emotional as she poured her heart and soul in to the performance but thankfully her fans were there to get the smile back on her face and potentially give her a new song title with ‘Get In The Bin’ dedicated to the person who broke her heart. 2019’s newest hit? Who knows!
The Fact We Were Supporting War Child
If we’re honest War Child BRITs week with O2 is one of our favourite weeks of the year. Not only because it means the BRIT Awards are just around the corner but also because we get to see big names in intimate venues whilst supporting an important charity. War Child supports children whose lives have been torn apart by war, this show was supporting Dima affect by the Syrian war who relies on War Child for a safe space to relax with her friends. During the night Anne-Marie spoke out about how important supporting the charity is for her, explaining how so much more needs to be done to protect children. It truly was a chance for us to feel lucky not only that we were seeing such a huge artist in a tiny venue but that our lives are not affected by wars like so many across the world. You can find out more about Dima’s story in the short video below.
This was a show we’ll never forget and we don’t think anyone else in the audience will either. Anne-Marie is going from strength to strength musically and it’s shows like this which provide the perfect chance to show off the stripped back side to the star which you can’t help but love. Live music saves lives and War Child UK are leading the movement in providing a safe space for war-stricken children, be sure to find out more about War Child UK here. Anne-Marie is heading out on a UK and European tour later this year, we’ll be there and we recommend you are too! Find out all the information here.