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Wolverhampton rising star Sophielou brings community feel to homecoming show - review

There are umpteen cliched motivational cushions, wall prints etc. that tell us ‘Life is better with friends’.

Sophielou
Sophielou

On a balmy late summer evening at Wolverhampton’s Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton rising RnB star Sophielou showed us that they had been right all along.

Performing with them, for them, and because of them, the former The Star unsigned artist wowed a good-sized crowd who had ignored Wolves’ crucial Europa League qualifier with Torino to come and support their buddy on stage.

She’d been supported by T.Ace, SiegeTheNight, and Josef and Infamous Dimez – all weaved together by DJ Simmz and hosts Kate and Linz – but the help continued into her own set which her friends, family and fans watching on lapped up.

She smiled, danced, and even briefly forgot where she was during Lost My Way as she got so wrapped up in her groove and enjoying herself she forgot to cut back in with the vocals. It was good to see somebody enjoying herself that much and was a stark contrast to the bland, serious nature of so many of today’s indie rock bands.

The beginning was a medley of the various versions of her track City Full Of Lies. An emotive and honest track, it did lose its way in the middle with the various voiceovers. But when she finished with the song’s original version the crowd took over and there were plenty of shouts of “go on Soph”.

Lost My Way is her rawest song and as the speed and beats increased the crowd bopped along with her.

TOLDYAA, who did not keep still, joined her for their single Ready, before Sophielou left him on stage to crank up the energy with his track Martian.

It shows the lack of ego in Sophielou that she kept stepping off stage while her pals performed and was a touch of class from her.

For the brilliantly nostalgic No Ball Games with its bouncing chorus she asked everyone to put their phones away and the crowd responded. And, after singing Happy Birthday to a newly-13-year-old fan on stage, Lady Sanity joined her and performed her track Noise.

The stage was then given up to popular Wolverhampton producer S-X, before Sophie returned for a rousing rendition of Bright Lights. “I’ve gotta play this song,” she beamed, “Mum’s favourite innit.”

The grand finale saw TOLDYAA, Lady Sanity and her fourth guest – Miami Writes – on stage, as well as Sophie's mum, nan and half the crowd, for the bass-heavy Cool Kids which was shouted back at them raucously by those watching on.

It summed up the close-knit feel of the night perfectly.

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