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REVIEW: BETSY @ The Haunt, 28/11/2017

The Verse’s Tom Palmer gives us low-down on BETSY’s powerful Brighton debut at The Haunt on 28th November.

Wednesday night saw Welsh soul-pop singer BETSY make her Brighton debut as she stormed through her first headline show at The Haunt.

Returning to the UK from a four-year placement at Balenciaga in Paris, Pembrokeshire-born Elizabeth Humfrey quickly caught attention. Her distinctive vocals draw a likeness to greats such as Cher and fellow Welsh star, Dame Shirley Bassey. Previously signed to Columbia Records in the US and Canada, BETSY is now signed to Warner Bros. with whom she released her self-titled debut album in late-September of this year.

Joined by German-born Sonia Stein, her performance at The Haunt marked the half-way point of BETSY’s autumn tour; with the singer previously performing in Swansea, Kendal, Birmingham, and Bristol earlier in the month. Clad in a sleek fuchsia skirt and zebra print ankle boots, BETSY calmly saunters onto the stage as she launches into a powerful Lost and Found, the first single to be released from her debut album. With a mischievous grin and a mock-Cockney accent, the Welsh singer addresses the crowd,

“Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello Brighton, isn’t this bloody marvellous?”

“You’ll like this next one, it’s very repetitive,” she jests before diving into So Much Love, followed by Fair and Time, both tracks from her 2016 released Fair EP.

The evening took an emotional turn as BETSY pauses to introduce her next song, Rosie. The singer tells the crowd that the story revolves around a family friend who tragically died in a car crash at the age of 18. BETSY goes on to explain that she and the band are playing this song at every stop on their tour as this year marks the 10-year anniversary of Rosie’s death.

Following the sombre and emotional number, BETSY swiftly lifts the mood with the contrasting club anthem, Heavy Head. This crowd-favourite ensured BETSY’s momentum was not lost and during a brief instrumental interlude, the singer asks if everyone is enjoying the show before instructing the crowd to “give a cheer if you like Cher.” This was promptly followed by a smooth transition into an uncanny rendition of the chorus to Cher’s iconic hit Believe. The 25-year- old then jokes “there’s no-one quite like Cher, eh?” She states,

“This is usually the point in the show when I get too hot and would remove a layer of clothing. But tonight… I’m only wearing one layer and it would become a very different show if I were to remove it……but I’m game if you are.”

BETSY  goes on to close the show with singles Little White Lies and power ballad You Won’t Love Me, followed by the high-energy pop number Last Time We Danced and finishing with crowd favourite Wanted More. BETSY’s headline performance at Brighton’s The Haunt has proved that not only has the soul-pop singer come a long way from her days living on the rural goose-farm in Pembrokeshire. But that her wit, intelligence and ability to manipulate a crowd, combined with her distinctly powerful vocals mean that she almost seems better suited to a packed stadium, as opposed to the 375-capacity venue.

(I spoke to the soul-pop singer last week ahead of her show at The Haunt. Click here to read the full interview with BETSY).

You can still catch BETSY on the UK leg of her autumn tour in Manchester and London before she heads overseas and performs in Cologne and Berlin early next month.

Betsy
Photo by Tom Palmer

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