PROUD AND LOUD | London, Royal Albert Hall

Celebrating fifty years of Pride in London for Pride month 2022, Londoners are treated to a diverse offering of loud and proud global artists, in addition to some moving speeches about how history has been made these past five decades.

Calum Scott makes a huge impression on the crowd, with everyone rising to their feet at the finale. A performance of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” (over two billion streams worldwide) sends the crowd wild: live, Scott is a phenomenal singer, and a natural with the crowd, sharing with us the strong emotions of the night. Hayley Kiyoko leads the finale, bringing a bright, fun, American sapphism as an antidote to Scott’s dour Northern laments.

Non-binary singer-songwriter ARIŌN dazzles, dressed only in an Arachne-inspired thong and navel-length dreadlocks. Despite undeniable stage charisma, their trancey set would be better placed for a standing-only 3am venue, and seems misjudged as the opening act for a 7:30pm sit-down show.

The Royal Albert Hall is a fantastic venue for this Pride celebration, with phenomenal sound and light tech that cements everything with the professionalism deserved of such a momentous occasion. It is a shame, then, to see the five-thousand-seater venue only about a quarter full. No doubt a clash with Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee celebrations causes some scheduling issues.

7:30pm, Saturday 4 June 2022

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