The all-acoustic night was kicked off by three half-hour sets in the form of Willow Robinson, Blackwell and Emma Blackery. Willow Robinson started the night demonstrating some technically amazing guitar playing and very strong vocals, however at times it was hard to really click with the songs as they began to fall into the type of generic acoustic songs we’re all very familiar with.

Blackwell followed, sitting slightly off center behind a keyboard. The stage felt quite empty at first but again the huge ability of this musician destroyed any doubts about there not being the kind of performance the crowd were expecting. Mesmerizing vocals and piano playing mixed with a character that the crowd warmed to very quickly, Blackwell surely had done his job, converting Charlie Simpson fans into Blackwell fans across the whole tour.

Emma Blackery was the final support of the night and it was here it felt like the night was almost “make or break” before Simpson had even taken to the stage. She was following two incredible musicians and surely owed her spot on this tour to her YouTube success (for those that don’t know, Emma Blackery boasts a whopping 880,000+ subscribers on YouTube). Although perhaps not as technically gifted as the others at her instrument, the crowd couldn’t deny her fantastic vocals (despite fighting through illness). But at the end of the day it felt like her hilarious crowd interaction and genuine personality made her a delight to watch, with the songs feeling almost like a bonus.

Charlie Simpson then took to the stage in front of a crowd that had at least tripled in size since Blackwell finished. Ex-Elliot Minor front man Alex Davies backed him up on guitar and bass along with the man that played keys as Blackwell tonight. Simpson opened with Long Road Home, Down Down Down and Haunted, before taking a minute to check with the crowd if they were “up for a fun Saturday night?” which was met with screams and cheers alike. Crowd interaction always seems a difficult one for acoustic nights like this as it’s more a case of soaking in the music and politely waiting for the next tune rather than radiating energy like the Fightstar front man may be more used to.

Yet as Simpson was hugely well received by the crowd, this felt less and less like an acoustic act thanks to the wall of backing vocals and a well-used effects pedal to act as a kick drum. Rattling through a host of crowd favourites such as Comets, Cemetery and Would You Love Me Any Less, the majority of songs came from Simpsons second album Long Road Home.

Before leaving the stage for the encore, The Farmer & His Gun was the last tune to graciously make it’s way through the venue, easily becoming one of the highlights of the night. The perfect balance of uplifting and meaningful, Simpson’s incredible vocals were undeniable tonight and it was here the crowd became in their words “one of the most fun crowds of the tour”.

Closing with Emily and lastly, Riverbanks, I reflected on the night as not the sort of concert I’d usually attend, but something I would definitely go to again. It was a night of hugely talented musicians performing technically amazing music, stripped back (for the most part) to the way most of these songs were written, just a voice and a guitar.