Ever since winning the BBC Sound of 2018 poll, Norwegian sensation Sigrid has continued to impress with a fresh and strikingly Scandinavian take on pop music. After hitting big with Top 10 hit ‘Strangers’, she’s released a second EP Raw, as well as recently dropping a new single, ‘Sucker Punch; a power pop anthem. With so much momentum behind her, I was expecting big things from her first UK headline tour.
And holy bloody balls, did she deliver. It helped that Albert Hall, a repurposed church, is such a stunning venue – and its rumbling acoustics really enhanced how epic Sigrid’s already-anthemic music was. The first of two dates in Manchester, the show was pretty much packed to the brim with a crowd that was fully up for it. A small section of the mosh pit even showed their enthusiasm by yelping and flailing an iPad with a Norwegian flag on it – which Sigrid seemed flattered, if also vaguely alarmed, by.
Sigrid took the opportunity of having an hour long set to introduce us to some new tracks – a couple of them a little formulaic, like ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘I Don’t Buy It’. Compared to the ferocious, electric energy of her performances of ‘High Five’ and ‘Sucker Punch’, these unreleased tracks fell a little flat. That’s not to say, however, that there’s nothing to look forward to with Sigrid’s upcoming debut album. A new track called ‘Go to War’ served to demonstrate Sigrid’s supple voice and was backed with some pretty epic percussion. But the real standout of the new numbers was a more political track, ‘Savage in Our Blood’. A mixture of hopeful and doleful, it rallied against ambivalent politics and saw her showcase falsetto on the chorus reminiscent of Kate Bush.
Sigrid’s best known for her sparky energy, but there were some notable moments of intimacy – ‘Dynamite’, a radio hit in her native Norway, was introduced as “not so fun”. But despite this rather uninspiring endorsement, Sigrid imbued this acoustic number with a new intensity that completely took me out of myself.
But what everyone came for were her big anthems – ‘Strangers’, ‘Fake Friends’, ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’. And we weren’t disappointed. Sigrid has a stage presence like no other – full of spikes and pops of energy that made for a highly entertaining show. Next to ‘Fake Friends’ – possibly my favourite song from Sigrid’s first EP, Don’t Kill My Vibe – I just wrote ‘BANGER’. That could be said for most of the show’s numbers, but ‘Don’t Kill the Vibe’ got the biggest response from the crowd. The song that started it all for Sigrid, the crowd was singing along with every word. She’s yet to fully ascend to chart prominence, but Sigrid showed that she has all the goods to rival the best of them.