Gig Review: Cian Ducrot at Rock City

Words: Matt Roberts
Photos: Natasha Shipston
Thursday 16 November 2023
reading time: min, words

Cian Ducrot is an Irish singer-songwriter, raised in Cork, currently on the road with his Victory tour, named after his first studio album. The last time Cian played Nottingham he was performing at Rescue Rooms, but his growing success has seen him step up to Rock City, where the venue was packed full with adoring fans of all ages...

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The stage was sparsely set with his name up in lights, the only decoration, but as the venue lights darkened his name shone brighter, giving ‘Stranger Things’ vibes in the darkness as the Irishman took to the stage with rapturous applause. 

The Irish singer has utilised social media to his benefit in recent years, using TikTok and Instagram to his advantage by gaining notoriety in an ever increasing pool of talented artists.

In these videos Cian is often seen performing at train stations or shopping centres as flash mob choirs appear behind him serenading the unsuspecting audience. At Rock City, however, no flash mob were needed, as the crowd enthusiastically sang along to every song. 

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Ducrot started the show with the title track from his debut album, Victory, and bounced through hits such as Mama, and Heaven, an ode to his brother, before slowing the pace and taking to his piano adorned with red roses.

In his social media videos, you would be forgiven for thinking he was purely a talented vocalist, but his live show gave him the chance to show his musical talents, too. Ducrot took to a number of instruments as a child, learning piano, classical guitar, saxophone, percussion, drums, violin and the flute. He studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music from the age of nine and soon felt split between his classical training and his desire to make pop music.

It was his ability to make pop hits, however, that were evident at Rock City as he bound around the stage with a guitar engaging with the audience, slowed the pace at his piano, and even pulling out a flute to perform a solo to the Nottingham crowd. 

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Cian worked his way through his debut album, covering intimate subjects such as his mother’s struggles (Mama), the death of his best friend who took his own life (Part of Me), and the love for his step father who raised him (Step Dad).

The Irishman was able to control the crowd with his enthusiasm and was keen to thank the crowd for his success. They, in turn, hung on his every word and fully bought in to the sing along nature of his songs especially All For You, an emotional track about heartbreak, and loss. 

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The moving set was brought to a close with his highest charting song I’ll Be Waiting, where the crowd were once again in full voice one last time.

Ducrot’s album Victory went to number one in the UK charts, and it was clear to see why, as the sing along pop songs were hugely popular among the Nottingham crowd.

Victory is an open book, a deeply personal album, but whose versatility lends itself well to live performance, which sent the crowd home happy.

Cian Ducrot performed at Rock City on 15 November 2023


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