Isaac Gracie


YES. YES. YES. I am confused as I enter the new music venue in Manchester. I mean, I’ve been in venues where the local drunk is propping up the bar with a crowd of around 20 people. But walking into a pizzeria bar hybrid is something bizarre… After being ushered up the stairs I find the Pink Room; which can only be described as if you were to walk into the Candy Floss section of Willy Wonka’s factory.

The stage is low and the crowd bustling. I have been waiting for this moment since 2016, when I found Isaac Gracie’s ‘last words’ on SoundCloud with just 2000 listens. The folk music filling the room comes to an abrupt end and classic opera consumes us. As the band trickle onto stage, they look like they have just come from a ‘how to dress edgy’ convention, with Gracie being the figurehead.

The problem with pub gigs is that there is usually a group of dickheads at the back that just won’t shut up. I’m not against people talking at gigs, be my guest. But do we really need to know that your friend is ill from the kebab they had yesterday while someone is trying to express their deepest emotions to a bunch of strangers. However, Isaac Gracie is the answer to this quarrel of mine. As he is armed with guitar, and his voice breaks through the crowd with ‘running on empty’, the venue falls silent. Except of course the audible sound of everyone’s jaw hitting the floor.

Looking like the coolest long-lost member of The Lemon Twigs, Isaac Gracie holds the crowd with pure anticipation whilst attacking the feelings of every member. He explains to his fans with each lyric how painful love can be, yet how beautiful that feeling of despair is. It was like watching Dave Grohl talk about Kurt Cobain or Bruce Springsteen talk about Clarence Clemons. Or even how Thom Yorke feels when he sings ‘Creep’… Well, when the stunning ‘silhouettes of you’ turns into a breath-taking rendition of the Radiohead classic it just leaves everyone pining after Gracie’s story. Who hurt you Isaac?

It is made clear throughout the night that this is his first show in a while, that he might be rusty. If that’s rusty then I need to see more. Humble and honest with a voice of gods, Isaac Gracie isn’t just writing soppy love songs about a girl like millions before him. The angry grunge-esque ‘death of you & I’ makes everyone let go of their significant other and discard them to the heart of the crowd almost emotionlessly.

In this crowd of maybe around 300 people the hour-long set comes to an unexpected end for the 25-year-old Londoner. The night has passed, and I am still yet to hear the track I discovered over 2 years ago. He emerges back from the rafters and begins with his ‘last words’ of the evening. Which just so happens to be the last words of all in attendance. The sound of the crowd, even the dickheads talking about kebabs, and the local drunk who was propping up the bar, displays pure joy from the blonde-haired wordsmith. I don’t know who hurt you Isaac, or even if you’ve been hurt at all. But I know for a fact that by the end of the evening, everyone in that room was helping in some way.

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