Olivia Dean sparkles at the Leeds University Stylus as she proves she is made for big stages

What a performer.

The Brit School grad effortlessly performs her Mercury prize-nominated album and proves she was born to perform.

Fresh from delivering a show stopping set at Coachella, Olivia Dean comes to the Leeds University Stylus which is just the second stop of her UK and European tour.

Her crowds have seen a meteoric rise over the past year, having been nominated for three brits and poised for the Pyramid stage at this year’s Glastonbury festival.

So it’s no surprise that her Leeds gig is a sell-out with many still hoping to bag tickets on the night.

Image: The Hoot Leeds

But it’s the intimacy of the University Stylus which makes the evening so incredibly special.

Sporting a yellow denim two piece complete with black knee high boots, the 25-year-old musician looks calm and at ease on her largest headline tour so far.

Gracing the stage with a seven-piece band behind her, she says “I’m very excited to be here this evening with you, it’s Friday night in Leeds!”

Kicking things off with an atmospheric UFO, Dean wastes no time in showing off her hit heavy repertoire as she swiftly follows with Ok Love You Bye – a track that gets the whole crowd moving and singing along.

Her debut album Messy, nominated for the acclaimed Mercury Prize, is all about self-discovery and dealing with the turbulent aftermath of a break-up.

Image: The Hoot Leeds

Tambourine in one hand and pint of beer in the other, Dean stylishly executes her big tracks whilst seamlessly interacting with the audience.

Introducing the titular track, she says “I wrote this song to feel like a big hug. I wanted it to feel like a big bowl of tomato soup.”

And we can’t put it better ourselves.

Dean glides through Messy, almost as if singing a lullaby, holding us in the palm of her hand as we slide up and down the catchy melody with her.

Later comes Carmen, a song dedicated to Olivia’s Guyanese grandmother which sees the entire band come together in what can only be described as a real dance party.

Of course she ends with Dive, the standout track from the album that perfectly depicts the exhilarating feeling of falling head over heels for someone.

She thanks the audience and bids her farewells: “Hopefully see you again soon” she says, “You coming Glastonbury? Gosh pyramid stage, I’m bricking it.”

And on that note, we were all left wishing we had a ticket to the farm this summer just to see this shining star who no doubt will pull big crowds to one of the biggest stages on earth.

It’s clear that Olivia Dean was born for the stage, and the bigger the stage the brighter she will beam.

Read more: All the winners from the first Northern Music Awards – including Leeds’ own Brudenell Social Club and English Teacher

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