When a Welsh country-rock singer asked a guy playing an acoustic guitar on Instagram to help write her first English EP, and he decided to say yes, neither of them expected it would turn into them becoming a pop duo with 30 million streams under their belt.
Now the pair (Catrin Hopkins and Gethin Williams), known as Dusky Grey, are on their first UK headline tour. On Saturday they played a sold-out show at London’s Camden Assembly, and with the help of their danceable songs and the venues flashing lights, the entire set felt like an intimate party for their fans.
But after all, this clearly was the band’s aim. When introducing a new song about a great party they had attended, they announced they wanted tonight to be just as fun. “Come on let go,” fittingly formed part of the chorus.
However, the crowd really didn’t need much encouragement to let go. Everyone attending was as excited to be dancing with Dusky Grey as Dusky Grey were to be dancing with them. “We’re so happy that you’ve turned up,” said a cheerful Hopkins after finishing the electro-pop opener Call Me Over.
Throughout the set the crowd sang impressively loud to every lyric and the duo eagerly responded to it, smiling widely as they regularly pointed their mic towards the fans to let them take the reins during certain parts of songs.
The latest single, One Night – a poppy dance track meets acoustic guitar hybrid – was met with the biggest reaction. Then coming in second was the duo’s successful, groovy first release Told Me from 2016. It saw them feature on playlists by the likes of Apple Music, Spotify and BBC Introducing.
But with crowd response and interaction aside, there is still no doubting the strong artist to fan connection with Dusky Grey as they have even written a song for their fans. With lyrics like “keep on keeping on”, Hopkins tells the audience it’s to help them through a bad day. Queue one girl immediately starting to cry before breaking out into dance again thanks to the irresistible lively beat.
The crowd only ever slowed down when they played an acoustic version of Smoke, a number with the hook “I don’t wanna think about us no more”. “When Geth and I first started, it was literally just the two of us and a guitar. So we’re going to take it back to that,” said Hopkins. But undeniably, the decision also made way for Hopkins powerful, arresting vocals to really get their moment in the spotlight.
The set had been and gone in around 30 minutes, but I worry if it were any longer the crowd would’ve worn themselves out.
Words, featured image and A Little Bit video: Millie Richardson | Subbed: Millie Davy-McVay