Stephen Fretwell

Norwich Arts Centre

> Norwich Arts Centre

Stephen Fretwell showed why he is tipped as Britain's next big male singer-songwriter with an intimate gig last night in Norwich.

The 23-year-old from Salford ambled amiably through a set that mixed familiar numbers from his album Magpie with new and old songs.

It's a sign of how quickly his star has risen that he still seemed genuinely touched to have an audience, let alone one this appreciative.

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If the set seemed a touch short at 40 minutes, the acoustic encore made up for that.

For me, it was these acoustic- only songs, such as hit single Emily, that were the real highlights, with his crystal clear voice and precise guitar- picking really able to ring out, like a sharper, tougher Chris Martin.

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Closing song New York displayed his ear for an acute lyric too, bringing a classic let's-escape-together ode to “A place I've heard on the radio never sleeps”.

Strong support came from Liam Frost and Hush.

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