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Emma Blackery: Live Review and Interview at Tramshed

Fraser Taylor Photography

By Zhang Mengyang (Eva)

Not just known as a performer, rising pop star Emma Blackery is also known as a songwriter, youtube vlogger, and author. She released her debut album “Villains” on 31th August 2018. After announcing an extensive UK and European headline tour for October 2018, Emma graced the stage at Tramshed, Cardiff on 24th October, the same venue she performed at in May last year. However, she noted that on the previous occasion she didn’t have a chance to see Cardiff well.

Waiting in a queue to enter the Tramshed, I found most of her fans are still young. However, when I asked her about whether pop music is just for this demographic, Emma replied, “Pop music is not for a specific age group. Pop is for all, no matter what their religions and ages are.” In response to my query about if there were other genres of music she still wanted to try Emma manifested she wants to stick to pop and her love for this genre is shown throughout the songs on her album.

The same as last year, Emma’s guitar player Ryan played the opening act. It was pretty hot in Tramshed because of the excitement of her fans. After several songs, Emma said, “Across Europe, it’s the hottest stage.”

Emma played all of Villains and less of her early music during this year’s show. Her new album explores themes of fake friendship and mean people on the Internet. To cater to the “dark” theme of her new album, she chose a cooler and darker outfit compared with last year’s red dress.

Emma started with “Villain I”, declaring that the villains are “on my list”, and she ended by singing “I tore up my list, I threw it away” in “Villain II. It seemed as if the gig is a whole process of self-reflection, a journey to explore herself. Apart from songs in the debut album, Emma Blackery added some of her earlier songs, like “Suck to be You”. Compared with her previous pop-punk style, we witness this Sussex singer’s maturity.  A likeness to Avril Lavigne can be seen in her earlier music whereas her new album sounds more like Taylor Swift.

Emma displayed great energy throughout the gig, jumping around on the stage and subsequently making the venue even hotter. Not that it mattered to the girl who stood next to me who had been following Emma’s songs for five years. Her favourite song is “Don’t Come Home” from her previous work, while my personal favourite track is ‘Third Eye.’ The up-tempo beat in “Third Eye” was infectious and led me to also begin dancing. The song was influenced by 80’s synthpop and provided an excellent disco atmosphere. Everyone would like to have a ‘third eye,’ but no one can be totally objective when they are trapped in things or when they face people they love.

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