There are times with artists that you just know. Know that they’re destined to be playing far bigger venues than the tiny spots you first see them. Know they’re going to mean a lot to a lot of people. Know that the biggest and boldest version of themselves is only going to come in time. It wasn’t a matter of if things would become massive for Beabadoobee; it was always a case of when. Now in front of us, it’s nothing short of game-changing.
Over the space of the past two years, Bea has firmly laid claim to being a vital voice for a new generation of alternative fans. An artist with the ability to capture that uncertainty that comes with discovering who you are in an ever-changing and complicated world. It’s something we saw played across intimate, sweaty club shows and arena-sized support slots in equal measure – thousands queuing to catch a glimpse of one of their own done good. That importance can be seen across Kentish Town Forum tonight, fans suitably in awe as Beabadoobee whips through the sort of emphatic set we knew was sitting in the chamber, ready to pop.
‘Fake It Flowers’ in a live setting shows the multiple sides of Bea – that explosive evolution from raw bedroom songwriter to something altogether more potent. As she put it herself, it’s a debut album ‘for girls to cry to and dance to and get angry to’. All of that and more takes over the Forum tonight, turning the venue into a sort of teen-movie disco. An opening run through ‘Sun More Often’ and ‘Care’ immediately has the room pawing at every move. Assured and perfectly in control, ‘Dye It Red’, ‘Together’ and ‘Worth It’ are met with a scrum to get into the mix of things – a wanted list for that collective sense of togetherness.
Whilst commanding the stage like the leader of the toughest gang in town, Bea is ultimately every single person here. The sounds booming through her headphones as she navigated the streets of Camden but a few years ago are now tracks for another generation to plug into whilst they navigate the same confusion, fears and questions that come with growing up. ‘Disappear’ is effecting with its swaying hands, while ‘Sorry’ and its unravelling breakdown of angst and regret hits like a sledgehammer. Beabadoobee allows every person in the room to feel free to shout out every twist in their stomach, empowered and ready to take on the world.
It’s shown in the overflowing delight of ‘She Plays Bass’. When things are stripped down on early cuts like ‘Tired’ and the mammoth ‘Coffee’, it practically drowns Bea out with an in-the-moment rawness. Everyone is welcome in this world of Beabadoobee – the thrills and wide-eyed showbiz all thrown to the curb for something altogether more real. It’s an undeniable feeling, that this is everyone’s moment.
Whilst ‘Fake It Flowers’ forms the spine of tonight’s huge headline moment, it’s recent cuts ‘Last Day On Earth’ and ‘Cologne’ that tease at something altogether more exciting. This is a set from an artist only just getting started. Beabadoobee tonight is a force unto her own – a perfect snapshot of a generation about to rip apart the rulebook and do things better. No gimmicks, no bullshit – it’s impossible to resist
Sun More Often
Dye It Red
She Plays Bass
Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene
Last Day on Earth