• Sun. Sep 24th, 2023

Olivia Dean Glasgow gig review

ByIsabelle Brower

Mar 24, 2023
An image of Olivia Dean onstage, lit by blue lights

Continuing her sold out tour around the UK/EU, it is clear that Dean’s music has connected with her Scottish audience. As soon as she arrives on stage she is met with roars from the crowd as she goes straight into her newest single ‘UFO’, accompanied by her 4-piece band. Everyone was instantly swaying and singing along to her addictively soulful voice.

When she came on stage her ethereal beauty took mine and my friends breath away, but her laughing and joking with the audience made it clear the London-born vocalist is like every other 20 something year old just trying to figure themselves out. Her voice is mesmerising, equally flawless in person as it is recorded, and I certainly wasn’t the only one mesmerised as me and my friend went wide eyed when she sang her next song: ‘Password Change’. Passion is at the core of her singing and the creativity of her songwriting is evident in her performance.

Even though it is shocking she hasn’t already, Dean revealed she is soon to release her debut album which made the crowd (myself included) incredibly excited. She played some unreleased songs for us which are already my top favourites, including ‘Dive’, which already had the whole crowd dancing along even though we hadn’t heard the song before. If the rest of the album follows suit then we are in for a treat, fuelled with more soulful songs about growth to inspire self-empowerment and independence.

Played next is Dean’s 2021 song ‘Be My Own Boyfriend’, a beautiful ode to self love which we should all be striving for, and clearly a favourite amongst everyone: the crowd didn’t miss a word. All of Dean’s songs are introspective, focusing on herself falling in love rather than the other person in the relationship. Her clear focus is on growth. Her lyrics really speak to the listener and inspire personal development.

Dean takes to the piano for a more quiet and tender part of the gig to perform ‘Slowly’ and ‘Cross My Mind’ and again shows us her funny side as a smoke effect kept going off as she was playing her sadder songs, leading to her being unable to keep her laughter in and of course the crowd laughed along.

It is clear Dean’s following travels need to be further than just Scotland because, as Dean reveals to us that she is going to perform her last few songs before closing the gig, some fans shout that she ‘needs to come to Ireland’, as they had to travel all the way to Glasgow to see her play, showing real dedication. She introduces her last few songs saying, ‘if you haven’t danced yet then this is your last chance’. I wouldn’t believe it if someone in the room hadn’t moved to her songs yet. Dean’s soulful energy is radiant and her songs are impossible to stand still too. Her energy and presence on stage is dazzling and you can really see how she feels her music. The lyrics truly come from the heart. She is funny, genuine and inclusive in her performances, talking and joking with the crowd throughout.  

Although I was sad to see the gig come to a close, Dean finished her set with my personal favourite and a song that she described as ‘having changed her life’, ‘Hardest Part’. The whole crowd did a final dance along, shouting to the song perfectly. Dean is undoubtedly an artist everyone should see live if they can, not only in the UK but globally. I will certainly be looking closely for her next tour as her debut album releases.

Photo courtesy of Isabelle Brower