By Bethan Willis
Whenever I think of Willie J Healey I am transported back to my first year of university, when I would listen to his debut album, ‘People And Their Dogs’, on repeat whilst walking down Colum road to my dreary university halls. Two years pass and I find myself watching him at the dream like place which is Green Man Festival and I am reminded of my love for that album, and the importance it holds in relation to my first year of university. So, naturally, when I saw he was making a stop at Cardiff on his UK tour in November I jumped at the chance to see him live again. And once again, he did not fail to impress.
Before Willie J Healey, who was performing at the iconic Welsh venue – Clwb Ifor Bach, we managed to catch the last few songs from the Oxfordshire based support band, Be Good. I was pleasantly surprised by the band and would highly recommend for people to check them out, especially for songs such as Nightbus and Moving Staircase. So the gig was already off to a good start, more people began to fill up the venue as anticipation built for Willie J Healey to walk out, and despite the gig not being a complete sell out the crowd was enthusiastic and in good spirits.
Willie J Healey had created the perfect mixture of a setlist for the fans. Performing songs from the debut album released in 2017, including hits such as Subterraneans, Greys and Somewhere In Between, which is a personal favourite, and incorporating older songs from the 2016 ep Hey Big Moon. And most importantly, we heard tracks from his newest ep, including Songs For Joanna- the lead single which has had huge support from Radio 6Music. The track undoubtedly got the crowd moving and will become a fan favourite to see live. The new ep, titled Hello Good Morning, was released the day after the gig (15th Nov) and I’ve had it on repeat ever since, it is seriously worth having a listen, if you haven’t already!
After being summoned for an encore, Willie J Healey emerges back on-stage solo, and ends the set with a completely stripped back version of We Should Hang. A perfect note to end the gig on, and definitely a performance I won’t forget any time soon.
Thanks to Sophie Fieldwick for the pictures! Check out her instagram here.