The good witch came to Edinburgh and worked her magic on a sellout crowd, serving hits like ‘Body Better,’ ‘Not Another Rock Star,’ and her latest release ‘Lost The Breakup.’
By Theerada Moonsiri (She/her/hers)
I, like many others, discovered Maisie Peters from her 2017 self-debut single, ‘Place We Were Made.’ This song holds much meaning to someone like me who lives half the world away from home; it reminds me of my parents’ house, where I know every street light and all I talked about was leaving, just like the song goes. I was particularly excited to see Peters live for the first time as I’ve been listening to ‘Body Better’ on a loop for the past month – so much so that I’m pretty sure it will end up on my Spotify Wrapped at the end of this year.
Making my way on foot from Edinburgh Waverley to Assembly Rooms, I could see just outside the venue that the queue had formed well before 5pm, even though doors were to open at 7. When I got in, I immediately noticed a rather young crowd that was more than ready to meet Peters and see the songstress perform.
The night began at 8pm as a Canadian-born, London-based singer-songwriter Cate Canning, known simply as Cate, took the stage. I love it when the opening act actually complements the headliner. In this case, Cate’s music shares with Peters a similar sense of dreamy yet genuine storytelling as she navigates what it means to be young, in search of herself, and in love and out of it. Cate played ‘Groupie’ and ‘Can’t Wait To Be Pretty’, among others, but I was most obsessed with ‘Ruin’ – a track that has now earned a permanent spot in my Liked Songs playlist. Fun fact, she is the Cate mentioned in Peters’ song ‘Cate’s Brother.’
Peters didn’t let her fans wait for too long. The British pop witch and her band (Tina Hizon on keyboard, Joel Peat on guitar, and Jack Geary on drums) strolled out not long after and brought the roof down from the very start with a selection of crowd pleasers, as well as my own personal favourites, ‘Body Better’ and ‘I’m Trying (Not Friends).’ It’s not surprising to me that most of the audience could recite Peters’ lyrics religiously. Peters writes in ways you can easily insert yourself into and become the main character in her songs.
Peters continued to play a couple of songs from You Signed Up For This, her first studio album that was released shortly after she signed with Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records. From such a sweet story of Peters and her twin sister Ellen’s trip in the US behind ‘Brooklyn’ to Cate joining her on stage during ‘Cate’s Brother,’ the gig felt like a Gen Z sisterhood razzle-dazzle that we never knew we needed.
The set got slightly interrupted by a technical glitch after the first verse of ‘Psycho,’ which I believe was one of the night’s most-anticipated tracks. Though ‘Psycho’ was abandoned, Peters took this opportunity to prove herself a natural entertainer, exchanging good-natured banter with fans. The way she delivered the line “Was he a man? We don’t listen to men” was iconic, and no one can tell us otherwise.
We were definitely in for a real treat as Peters got us bopping to ‘You’re Just a Boy (And I’m Kinda the Man),’ an unreleased track from her upcoming album The Good Witch that will be out this June. See? There’s a reason why I keep referring to her as The Good Witch after all!
Shortly afterwards, a member of the audience fainted, bringing the set to another brief halt as Peters was nearing the end of, in her own words, “a medley of my most traumatising songs,” including ‘Glowing Review,’ ‘Volcano,’ and ‘Good Enough.’
Prancing on the stage with little to no pause, Peters brought the energy back with one of her biggest hits, ‘Not Another Rockstar,’ as fans sung at the top of their lungs and Peters’ herself belted her heart out. Her lower, melancholy songs like ‘John Hughes Movie’ and ‘Worst of You’ were also delivered just as beautifully.
Ending the set pre-encore with an absolute banger, it became clear that the night was nothing short of a deserved celebration of Peters’ introspective songcraft as what felt like the entire crowd screamed and sang along to every single word, and I really mean every single word, of ‘Lost The Breakup’ – a song Peters released only a couple of weeks prior to the start of her Road to Brixton Tour. Obviously, Peters won the breakup.
Peters reappeared on stage to perform her final song, ‘Blonde’. I honestly believed we’d reached the highest peak at ‘Lost the Breakup’, but Peters continued to serve her sellout crowd tirelessly from start to finish. Her music certainly does resonate with her fans who are mostly young and, at least trying, to make sense of their 20s.
Peters is hands down one to watch, and she’s set to play a bigger crowd in Scotland this summer at Glasgow’s very own TRNSMT festival on Saturday 8 July 2023.