fri 14/06/2024

Maisie Peters, O2 Academy, Glasgow review - conjuring up an enjoyable pop spell | reviews, news & interviews

Maisie Peters, O2 Academy, Glasgow review - conjuring up an enjoyable pop spell

Maisie Peters, O2 Academy, Glasgow review - conjuring up an enjoyable pop spell

The songstress might be unlucky in love but has an adoring fanbase.

Maisie Peters cut an assured presenceSophie Scott

When Maisie Peters first appeared onstage she loudly asked if the crowd were ready for “the best night of their lives”, and given the youthful nature of the audience the ensuing 80 minutes might have lived up to the hype. There were screams, hysteria and, in one case, an emotional lass getting on her phone to tell her significant other that hearing break-up songs brought home how much they appreciated them.

There were a lot of those songs, in fairness. When Peters observed that she was seeking to provide music from different eras of her life it was easy to raise an eyebrow, given she’s still just 23, but going by her material she’s crammed a lot of bad romance into that span. At her liveliest she was a Swiftian blonde striking a sassy, empowering note, of confidence and moving on with her life, and of encouraging the audience to join in for catharsis. They did exactly that on the sweary, shout-a-long kick of “Blonde” and accompanied Peters on the fizzing way she yelped through a list of red flags to avoid in potential partners on “Run”.

With a three-piece backing band perched on a raised stage behind her, Peters had sufficient room to operate, and did so with the honed effectiveness of someone hitting the UK fresh from an American tour, sliding through radio friendly pop that carries a smattering of indie. However she managed to retain enough local touches to avoid feeling too robotic, from making a crowd pleasing entrance to the Proclaimers “500 Miles” to reminiscing about a past trip to Glasgow’s Cathouse nightclub.

Her best songs, which encouragingly were mostly from sophomore album “The Good Witch”, had a looseness there. “Body Better” arrived early on, all sleek synths and sounding like it could soundtrack a montage in an 80s teen film, while “Watch” struck a nice contrast, reliant on a crunching backdrop of noise. It suggested a versatility which bodes well for the future as well as her present.

It was her past where the gig struggled most. There was an attempt to perform a medley of several older tracks, which resembled watching a YouTube video where someone attempts to cram the history of punk, or a litany of cartoon theme tunes, into a few minutes. Peters attempt was as unsatisfying as those clips, running through them with haste, while the strum and synths combo on “Love Him I Don’t” was of such plainness it could pass for a tea biscuit.

Her relationship woes as songwriting fodder did also occasionally run a bit dry, and her valedictory tendency meant you half expected her to declare “needless to say, I had the last laugh” at the end of each song, with “You’re Just A Boy (I’m Kinda The Man) nowhere near as good as the title. Yet for all that the set could get bogged down at points, Peters has a firm grasp on enjoyable pop, and the bouncing finale of “Lost the Breakup” indicated she’ll have quite a few more eras in front of her.

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