Kicking off her UK tour, The Blues Kitchen in Manchester was graced by a truly wonderful performance. Sophie Faith has been navigating her musical journey with care. She has managed to develop a large following in the last 5 years, despite listeners still waiting on a debut project. After a brief hiatus, Sophie began releasing music again this year, beginning with ‘Something I said’. This was followed up with ‘Pinky Blues’, and more recently, ‘Heart Is On My Sleeve’, a fantastic gospel-inspired track co-written by Stormzy.
The mood was set upon heading up to the top floor of Blues Kitchen. A dimly lit, the smoky room provided the perfect atmosphere. Candle-lit tables were soon filled by fans of the young singer, and excitement set in. The evening began with the guitar-infused energy of London-born, Manchester-based singer, Rosie Charles. Her performance set the high standards for the night. Her set contained an abundance of relatable lyrics, complemented by a powerful voice and luscious guitars.
The evening was continued by the angelic sounds of Zoe Kypri. An independent artist with a remarkably soulful voice, Zoe’s performance was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Some tracks were accompanied solely by keys, which provided a velvety, atmospheric feeling. The addition of drums created a new dynamic, one that was certainly welcomed. Zoe’s set wonderfully added to the ambience of the night, with her vocal ability leaving a lasting impression.
After a short break, the stage welcomed Sophie Faith. She was accompanied by the very talented Jay Wilcox, who also appeared alongside Zoe Kypri. As well as two backing vocalists of the highest ability, Nectar Woode and Kojo Degraft-Johnson. Sophie’s set began with older releases ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Say So’, and immediately her presence was felt. The set progressed onto familiar favourites ‘Cross My Mind’ and ‘You Are The Best Thing’, with the audience’s attention held by Sophie’s excellent vocal performance.
One highlight was the performance of her new song, ‘Heart is on my Sleeve’. A strong element of gospel emanated from the track, with Sophie proving her versatility for all to see. The highly positive reaction from the crowd must have been affirming, given it was unreleased at the time of the performance. Since it’s been given to the world the response has been fantastic. The track was not only co-written by Stormzy, but heavily co-signed by him, with him complimenting Sophie’s abilities on his Instagram. The excitement for more releases has certainly been galvanised by this song. Future releases will be met by well-founded jubilation, with this providing the basis for a strong body of work in the future.
‘Something I Said’ stood out amongst the set, as the catchiness of the chorus was enjoyed by all. Fan favourite ‘Late Nights’ was then brought in, with the relatability of the lyrics resonating with many. Around this time, I ventured to the back of the room to capture some videos. This perspective allowed me to experience the full view of a room captivated, in equal measure by Sophie’s abilities of performance and voice.
The set was ended here, but thankfully only for a brief moment, with Sophie returning for an encore of her ‘2019’ single ‘Salt’. An infectious energy was given alongside self-assured lyrics, providing the perfect ending to the evening. An extended standing ovation followed, with the nights performer seemingly overjoyed by the response. I had the pleasure of chatting with Sophie afterwards, with her expressing how pleased she was the first show of the tour had been such a success.
Sophie Faith, alongside her support acts and stage team, provided an evening bursting with talent. Authenticity was given out by all who performed, resulting in a very positive reaction from the crowd. Sophie seems to be going from strength to strength, with song releases as well as live performance. It will be exciting to follow Sophie’s trajectory from here, with there appearing to be no boundaries for the young artist.
Sophie managed to achieve the feat of having her live performance sound no worse than the studio recordings of her songs.