Louis Berry at Cub Fest - Review
The stage goes dark, a red light appears and thundering drums begin to blare through the sound system. The band are in position, the lights begin to flash ferociously and out of the black comes Louis Berry. Berry struts onto the stage in his black, Nike tracksuit, picks up his guitar and begins to play. The singer-songwriter and proud Liverpudlian opens his headlining set at Norwich’s Cub Fest with ‘Rebel’. Instantly, I find myself being taken aback by Louis’s confidence. He strides around the stage as less of an up and coming artist and more of a rock legend that has been sculpting his craft for years. The intense, fierce look in his eyes shows the determination and passion Berry holds for his job. Despite this fiery and relentless façade, there were intermittent, brief moments throughout his set where Louis broke this façade and a cheeky smile appeared. It was clear that Louis had a good rapport with his fellow band mates, from his tapping on the drums with his guitar to shared “in” jokes that had them all laughing.
Despite the suggestive ego Louis’s stage presence held, his appreciation for his fans and people coming along to watch him was clear. The singer thanked the audience on multiple occasions and after performing ‘Wind Changes’, actually stopped to thank the crowd for staying during the slower songs. Louis explained that he feels it is important for an artist to “show their range” by doing a mixture of faster and slower paced songs. Personally, I actually preferred some of the slower tracks, particularly ‘How Would You Feel’, which Louis actually performed a splendid rendition of back in March at the BBC Maida Vale studios. The stripped back arrangement in the song put a spotlight on Berry’s raspy, coarse and addictive voice. It also showed the singer’s ability to take control of the room. No one spoke, no one moved, everyone was completely absorbed and entranced by Louis’s performance – it was as if they had all been brainwashed! Having said this, it should also be noted that Berry certainly didn’t fail on providing energy and vibrancy to the grey and rather lifeless Waterfront venue. Both ‘Restless’ and ‘She Wants Me’ had the crowd moving, clapping and screaming at the top of their lungs. Everyone united to revel in being able to party with the rock’n’roll star that is Louis Berry. As I left the venue, after persuading a member of Louis’s band to give me his setlist, my ears were filled with snippets of Berry’s set. When asked the following day how the gig was, my response was simple: “You NEED to see this guy”.