I wrote this for something that turned out to be completely pointless but my friend really liked it so i’ll share it with you too.
It’s the UK’s biggest metropolitan festival boasting 360 artists, 25 venues and 40,000 ‘Sound Citizens’. Yes, Liverpool Sound City 2014 was certainly big on numbers, but it took merely the voice of one young woman to make all that seem somewhat insignificant.
Fabienne is petite, modest and wearing Camden’s finest in urban vintage. She instantly warms the intimate audience with an endearing smile before introducing herself as a London-based singer from Bradford, and a LIPA graduate. Everything from her ego to her performance is stripped down, yet her voice is expertly decorated, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar.
‘Soulful’ is an often-abused word when it comes to popular urban music, but in Fabienne’s case it is undoubtedly true. Beneath her powerful vocals are a collection of self-penned, 100% original and honest lyrics. Each word she sings is tentatively grasped at by each member of the crowd.
Highlight single, Taxi, talks about struggling to find independence in a relationship and the perils of jealousy but it is final track, City of Shadows, which establishes Fabienne’s rightful position on stage.
“I live in London but I’m a northern girl through and through”, she wholeheartedly proclaims before delving into the song. What follows is the truly heart breaking words of a girl confronted with the enduring darkness of London whilst chasing a dream. It’s the frustrated antithesis of Hometown Glory by a devoted Northern girl. “I wanna go back where they know my name but it pulls me back again”, she sings. The set ends here, Fabienne having laid her soul bare to the people of the place she calls ‘home’.
It is the perfect conclusion to Fabienne’s story and nothing short of a privilege for us to have been a part of it.