Holly Humberstone has had an insane year. She won the Brit Award for Rising Star, performing at the show alongside big hit names Adele, Liam Gallagher and Ed Sheeran. She travelled America with indie-rock sensation Girl in Red and even took Coachella before continuing her sweep of the states with Olivia Rodrigo. Add in a few festival dates across the UK and Europe and you have a star ready for her first headline tour- but not before performing in Japan and Australia too.
After all these amazing feats for an artist who only started releasing music in 2020, Holly Humberstone still felt the nerves. Opening with The Walls Are Way Too Thin, a song that treads loneliness and anxiety, she is anything but. Maybe it’s the stripped back set with only her band, her piano, and the names of all her fans written on her backdrop. There is an undeniable connection between her fans- a small technical glitch happens and she apologises, a fan shouts “don’t be sorry” and everyone laughs. There’s something special that happens when the artist sings a song written in isolation in front of her first sold out headline gig.
Holly Humberstone’s music gets personal, and her concert is invites you deeper into the music. Between repeatedly thanking the audience for being here and her ineffable vocals, she tells the story behind her songs. Deep End is a song written for her sister who was struggling with mental health issues Holly couldn’t understand. Haunted House is about how she hates growing up and how she longs for the house she grew up in that she can’t go back to. London is Lonely is, of course, about being lonely in a crowd of people and missing those she left behind to make her dream come true.
There’s a unique charm and energy to her concert unlike any musician I’ve felt before. It’s uniquely personal and intimate with the qualities of a group séance at the same time. Singing alone on stage, accompanied only by spotlight or red washes, there are no distractions and the focus is all on her. Even when she forgets she has another song to perform before the encore (justice for Sleep Tight), there is a shimmer of a star. When you have the whole crowd screaming the lyrics to her viral hit Scarlett, it looks like Holly is totally going to go the distance.
Alongside her headline tour, Holly Humberstone will be supporting Blossoms and performing at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball this December. If you miss her, you can find her supporting the biggest act in the world as Harry Styles takes Wembley in July.