“I write a lot of songs that are sad, I’m not sure why, it just happens sometimes.”
Singer-songwriter and YouTuber Dodie bought her mesmerising performance to the o2 Academy in Birmingham, complete with a band to emphasise her stunning talent.
The walk to the o2 Academy soon became a maze of finding the way to the box office, as loyal fans who had queued early snaked around the block. It was clear that Dodie was in town, as fans were packed out in glitter, flower crowns, and Dodie’s signature yellow – creating an air of excitement before even entering the venue.
Opening the evening was Fenne Lily, a Bristol-based musician braced with just an acoustic guitar. Lily presented herself in a delicate fashion, as she fascinated the audience with her graceful guitar playing and angelic vocals. Gaining a few new fans in the crowd, Fenne Lily is definitely one to watch.
Next up were the lively Skinny Living, bounding on to the stage to a large round of applause. With already a relatively large following, Skinny Living put on a performance that would impress even those who had never heard of them before. Making full use of the space around them, the band showed that they were no strangers to a stage.
The stage was now adorned with flowery mic stands, as the waiting crowd sang loudly to any song that came on the speakers. As the lights dimmed and the band walked on, fans began to scream, and Dodie walked on with a large grin on her face, taking in the size of the room before kicking in to ‘Would You Be So Kind?’
As Dodie sat down at the flower-laden keyboard to play ‘Party Tattoos’, the room went so quiet that you could hear a pin-drop. Dodie is known to her fans to be a jack of many trades, and switching from the guitar to the piano, without missing a note whilst singing. When interacting with the crowd, Dodie came off as sweet and as gentle as her singing voice, as her eyes continuously scanned the room to take in the moment.
Dodie’s setlist consisted of songs not just off her two EP’s, but also songs found on her YouTube channel. Haunting renditions of ‘Human’, ‘Bitter Content’ and ‘Burned Out’ were scattered throughout the set, much to fans delight. But not only that, Dodie had two new unreleased songs to treat the audience with, coming in the form of ‘Monster’ and ‘If I’m Being Honest’. Although the crowd had never heard these songs before, they were still as supportive as ever, as little shouts of “I love you!” rang out across the venue.
Although quiet and docile, Dodie took the time to really connect with her audience, explaining the meaning behind certain songs and smiling every time any interaction was made. As the main set came to a close, Dodie began to explain to her crowd what her last song, ‘Secret for the Mad’, was about, reassuring those who look up to her that no matter how hard things seem, “you will always climb out of those dark places”. The audience applauded in support, as the meaningful song slowly built up in to a beautiful rendition containing the band, rather than just the piano as on the EP.
Dodie and the band had hardly left the stage as roars of “we love you Dodie, we do!” began to emerge. The young artist quickly obliged, and went straight to the keyboard to play ‘6/10’. With the words playing on her tongue, it was incredible to see how one person could have such an effect on a room full of people. Making the most of her last couple of songs, the last two songs ‘Absolutely Smitten’ and ‘In the Middle’ were filled with energy and excitement, as everyone on stage could not stand still. It was almost like, for a brief few moments, that we were in a room full of friends rather than strangers.
Listening to Dodie live was incredible in itself, but being able to watch the performance unfolding on stage was a true experience. It is clear that Dodie is very grateful for her fans, and her fans think the world of her. Dodie is highly deserving of all the recognition she has gained, and presents herself in a well-mannered, respectable way – proving that it is possible to be modest and humble with an ever-growing fan base.