Review: Beabadoobee at Engine Rooms 18/10/2022


On browsing Beabadoobee’s most popular songs on Spotify to find out what to expect from the artist, you might leave confidently under the impression that Beatrice Lau’s repertoire consists of easy listening, slow and sweet, sunday morning soft rock. The 22 year old singer has found her biggest hit to date with “Coffee”, a song which went viral on Tik-Tok as an endearing #3amsadthoughts anthem. From this, Beabadoobee has found herself a consistent home on playlists shared by similarly soft and brooding artists, mainly used for coffee shop study sessions.

The gig that was experienced at the Engine Rooms seemed to be a strong attempt to not simply step away from this category, but leap away from her soft-rock categorisation. In starting the set with songs from her 2020 debut Album “Fake it Flowers”, Beabadoobee’s sound was reminiscent of a love child between Paramore’s teenage dirtbag sound, and the sensitive, reflective lyrics of Wolf Alice. An energy was amplified in her live performance that the studio recordings don’t accurately capture. There is a confident rock presence from her supporting band, alongside a grainier, crunchier guitar sound that added a more lively sense of the ‘jump around your bedroom to this because you hate your dad’ energy that much of her music encapsulates. Songs such as “Apple Cider”, “She Plays Bass” and “Worth It” personified a sense of teenage spirit that had the younger indie crowd swaying. Her more energetic tracks made me forget at times, that I wasn’t in some sweaty concert hall in North America watching a young Avril Lavigne. Vocally, her sound is honey sweet and unfalteringly clear, a talent which makes her music incredibly soothing. For the audience that night you could see that the appeal of her music was that her songs bought a sense of comfort.

An image of a silhouette of a member of the audience, holding their hands in the air in the shape of a heart. Bea performs on stage in the background.

A loving fan (Image taken by Author)

Despite a complete run down of songs from the tours namesake “Beatopia” Album,  it was songs from the 2020 Album “Fake It Flowers” that seemed the most remarkable throughout the set. These songs were grungier, more confident, and had the greatest variance from her regular style of music. In songs such as “Charlie Brown” and “Care”, the sight of Bea whipping her hair to red and blue strobe lights immediately showed the crowd the artists potential for successful future sets at festivals such as Reading and Leeds. This type of sound is where I see Bea finding the most potential for growth in her style of music. While songs like “Talk”, from the album “Beatopia”, had the crowd most notably singing along, there was an undeniable similarity in many of the songs that made discerning the happy from the sad slightly muddy waters. Without meaning to be cynical, some songs could have been played twice and I might not have noticed.

To her credit, Beabadoobee was vocally excellent in delivering a strong and sweet performance with confident support from her backing band, though there was very little crowd interaction from the artist, a quality which may have been nice for such an intimate venue.  The appreciation the audience have for Beabadoobee however, was genuinely heartwarming to see. While screams of “I love you Bea!” went mostly ignored by the artist, they continued to happen in every pause between songs, with fans hands shaped into love hearts and held firmly in the air for all to see. With a following that loyal, I can see good things ahead.


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