Faye Webster Review: The plain spoken yet achingly emotional singer songwriter’s appearance at The Old Fruitmarket

You are currently viewing Faye Webster Review: The plain spoken yet achingly emotional singer songwriter’s appearance at The Old Fruitmarket

Words: Belle Overton Farnham (She/Her)

The crowd hums patiently, illuminated in purple spotlights, scrutinising the stage as we wait for Faye Webster to arrive. As the lights go down, her four-piece band emerges, flanking each side of the Webster-shaped statue that sits centre stage. Webster herself follows, transcending the audience into a unanimous silence as she croons out her first two tracks But Not Kiss and Thinking About You from her fifth album Undressed at the Symphony. The statue wakes up along with its onlookers, its eyes glow red to blue, matching each song’s individual sound. Now sufficiently warmed up, we are finally greeted by Webster’s ever-so-casual air with a simple ‘What’s up’? before she quickly strikes up again.

Tonight is the first show in 26-year-old Faye Webster’s UK tour. The album’s title, Undressed at the Symphony is inspired by her occasional, last-minute, solo trips to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Webster has described her feelings of ‘compulsion to lose herself among concertgoers’ during these trips, which she seems to similarly experience while performing, as she tickles the strings of her electric guitar leisurely for each individual band member, forgetting that she has an audience. Although Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was only released in early March of this year, each track earns familiarity from the audience who sing along to the words of He Loves Me Yeah! and Lego Ring as if they are their own, dappled with the tunes from a saxophone, electric guitar and keyboard. Webster saunters around the stage with purpose in her grey/blue oversized shirt and shorts matching set, repeatedly shaking her hair out of its updo and tossing it back up in the breaks between her songs. The stage is undeniably hers. 

After playing Kind Of, Webster introduces us to her brother Jack, who has been running on and off of the stage fixing technical problems that arise. In her charming manner she instructs ‘everyone say thank you Jackkk’, to which the audience choruses back in delight. The appreciation she has for her musical counterparts does not go amiss and stretches throughout her performance. Webster enthusiastically acknowledges her musical community as she intently listens to each band member’s solos and pauses on multiple occasions to thank her friend and support act Benet for his music. She seems just as excited to be in the presence of her fellow musicians as the crowd is to see her and she breaks her cool exterior by exclaiming in fan-girl fashion ‘everybody say we love you Benet!’. Her intention is clear; to make people know that this is not just a one woman show. 

As we get into the meat of the show, Webster plays Right Side of My Neck, a single turned TikTok phenomenon from her 2019 album Atlanta Millionaires Club. The audience exclaims as she belts out the famous line ‘You looked back at me once, BUT I LOOKED BACK TWO TIMES!’. These simplistic but utterly romantic lyrics have reached TikTok stardom among users as this trend reenacts these lyrics and humours the teenage experience of over analysing every interaction you might have with an infatuating crush. Once again, her presence as a relaxed indie singer is broken as she screams out her own words, showing the crowd that she, too, is just as hopelessly romantic as the rest of them. 

However, this is where her social media interaction falls short. Later in the show when the music lulls and Webster once again thanks her fans and Benet, a girl catches her attention, requesting for Webster to take her BeReal. ‘What do I press?’ she holds the phone out as if alien to her, ‘Right so I press it once then turn it around’? the phone locks. ‘What’s your password?… Zero…’ Webster doesn’t shy away from interactions with her fans and her casual conversational attitude proves endearing and sweet. It is as if she is saying ‘you’re here to appreciate my music and so I’m going to be here to appreciate you’. 

Continuing with Jonny, Jonny (Reprise) and In A Good Way, Faye Webster exits the stage, band in tow, only to reappear through a cloud of smoke with one of her guitarists. ‘This is my best friend Nunu!’ Webster introduces her long-time friend Noor Khan and they serenade the audience with their dazzling duet of Feeling Good Today. To end the show Webster sings her smash-hit single Kingston ending with Benet running on stage to hug. As the pair exit the lights go up and the show ends, leaving the audience hanging on Webster’s last wave.


0 0 votes
Article Rating

Leave a Reply

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments