I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Westlife, me, as have millions over other people it seems, mainly the ladies of course, & thus, as the second fresh-faced leg of their ‘Wild Dreams’ tour rock’d into Scotland, they’d easily sold out the epic Hydro for a whole weekend. Melodic companions to people’s lives, ‘the lads’ are there for the good moments, & the sad. They do have some funky numbers, definitely, & a smart selection of get-yer-standing cover songs, but I wasn’t actually there for them (deep down I prefer’d Take That myself), I wanted to check out Ireland’s up & coming number female solo singer, Lyra.
I’m having a bloody ball
Jeesh, this girl can sing, & its absolutely amazing how she goes from her moving & dramatic Enyasque operatics, to the chirpy tween-song patter of a Cork lass having a crack in the pub. On one occasion it was a bit hankies out almost, when she gave us a brief nugget of wisdom from her mam saying, if she was the best version of herself she would have nothing to apologise for. That is some ‘grand’ bardic thinking there, like, & it clearly work’d as whatever version of Lyra we have today, if its not her best version it’s pretty damn close cos she’s a wonderful performer. She totally owns her gifts.
You’ll know a lot more about me by the end of the night, I swear to God
It was great to see her on a massive stage too – her cinematic images flanking the massive font-phalanx of her name, & watching her sing is a real pleasure. She totally means it, like. It’s nice to see someone so good on her ascendency, & next April she’ll be doing her first headline tour, a thoroughly exciting proposition. Of the songs – more disco-art to tell you the truth – I enjoy’d the most last night, her opener We Are Beautiful set the tone for a splendid set, in which her stunning New Day shone absolute divinity & Falling is pure, well, her, the song that encapsulates her voice & inner groove perfectly.
You’re gonna have a belter of a night with the lads
There was also this cool song about chess, a strange subject to sing about, but it work’d & show’d she’s capable of the originality needed in the competitive quest for musical success. So roll on 2023, when she should really blossom into the public consciousness. Singing to all the Westlife fans en route would definitely have help’d that process.
Words: Damian Beeson Bullen
Photography: Stella Murphy