Isaac Gracie – The Haunt, Brighton – 25th April 2018

Photo by Ben Walker

Following the release of his debut album, Isaac Gracie is commencing on his biggest tour to date. It’s clear that this 23-year-old has an unbelievably bright future ahead of him and tonight, as he plays to a sold out The Haunt, he has proven that he is truly one of the best rising artists around.

Opening tonight is Matt Maltese, who gets the evening off to a strong start with his chilled out electronic jazz vibes. Matt’s vocals are simply brilliant and he is able to uphold a great deal of both sentiment and variance to each song, making his set feel continuously fresh throughout. The crowd are more than on board with his style and are happily locked in on the stage during the entire set; Matt has more than done his job in getting the room warmed up tonight.

As Isaac enters the stage armed with his guitar and with his session band in tow, you can immediately see the glint in his eye as he breaks into ‘All In My Mind’. Despite such a simple stage setup, the song is even more moving than its recorded counterpart and captures everything which has given Isaac’s sound such a great level of potential. To be able to simultaneously balance graceful vocal delicacy with harsh, powerful rawness is truly astonishing to watch, only emphasised further by an entire room singing back at him in unison. The evening is well underway and the set has more than found its flow.

Whilst his material isn’t the most upbeat, Isaac has certainly mastered the art of injecting emotion into every word he says. His emphasis on brilliant, if not sobering, lyricism really brings his sound to life and allows for the creation of euphoric moments which transport you directly into the imagery he paints through his sound. During song intervals Isaac upholds a great level of interaction with the crowd, showing a far more playful side to his personality which we don’t see as much within his music and this does wonders for the set, keeping the entire room on board and having a great time whilst listening to his material.

All of the biggest and best tracks from the record make appearances tonight with none of them slacking in the slightest. Within every song Isaac is continuously able to prove that his sound has no limitations. The passion within ‘The Death Of You & I’ sends shivers through the room and when the high notes of ‘Reverie’ are sung, the sound is purely awe-inspiring to witness. The demand for an encore tonight is overwhelming and Isaac is overcome by the level of support. A final rendition of ‘Last Words’ leaves the crowd with one final chance to sing their hearts out, transforming the room into a sea of chanting and applause for this blossoming artist; it’s clear that everyone is coming away from this show with smiles on their faces.

Isaac Gracie is an unstoppable force that you need to have on your playlists this year. His music has a bizarrely unique effect which few others could ever dream of accomplishing, almost like looking into the eye of an oncoming apocalypse yet seeing a glimmer of optimism. His debut has reminded thousands of what can be accomplished armed with just a guitar and such a sublime voice. There are no gimmicks here tonight, just serene music which will truly get under your skin. Tonight has proved everything that Isaac’s recorded music promised and has only been emphasised further in a live environment. For anyone unfamiliar with Isaac, now is the perfect time to get on board as this is only the beginning of his journey towards becoming one of the UK’s biggest names.

Ben Walker