The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Live Review: Mabel

Mabel commanded energy and attention as she confidently opened for Harry Styles

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Opening for Harry Styles is no easy feat, yet Mabel managed to dismiss the support artist label and take Manchester Arena as her own. Sassy, polished and vocally exquisite, the London singer rocked the mic and the stage as she more than warmed up the crowd.

Demanding attention in her ice white tracksuit, Mabel dominated the stage. She was backed by a jazzy live band and some soothing, soulful backing vocals. Her voice often gets lost in the glitz production world of chart music, but live in the arena her tones shone through as she sassed and bopped her way through a short but sweet discography.

Though seemingly out of place from the bolshy, badass set list, a haunting rendition of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’, with the arena sparked alight by 20,000 phones, was more than a poignant moment in the night, especially in such a venue where sentimental songs of healing and love mean so much to so many.

Ending on popular tracks ‘Fine Line’ and ‘Finders Keepers’ was a shrewd move by Mabel, who commanded that Manchester “keep the energy up!” and savvily cruised her way through the chart smashers. She’s definitely evolving, still finding her feet on the competitive stage of breakthrough British artists, but she clearly entertained that audience to the best of her ability – and what more can you ask of a rising talent?

With a headline tour on the horizon for next week, and the ability to entertain an arena in her own right, Mabel shows promise as London’s next big female star.

8/10

You can catch Mabel on her headline tour on the following dates:

April 18 || Leeds || Wardrobe

April 19 || Nottingham || Rescue Rooms

April 21 || Dublin || Academy Green Room

April 22 || Manchester || Band On The Wall

April 23 || Glasgow || ABC2

April 25 || London || O2 Kentish Town Forum