Declan McKenna rocks O2 Academy Edinburgh's debut show

The newly named O2 Academy Edinburgh played host to Declan McKenna in a celebration of live music and his second album Zeros. 

Hot off a stellar main stage debut at Reading & Leeds, Gen Z’s favourite indie boy Declan McKenna charmed his way onto stage at the newly named O2 Academy Edinburgh. His second studio album Zeros may have been released almost a year ago to the day but you wouldn’t be able to tell.

The lights drop and swim school bound onto stage in a glorious hometown reunion. For this four piece indie rock band, 2021 has been full of all time highs. Fresh off a string of festival appearances, you might expect lead singer Alice Johnson to strain through their high energy set. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Angelic vocals ring out, echoed back by long time fans from their early beginnings in a triumphant display of musicianship that made for their self described ‘best set yet’!

With excitement rising, many fans remained blissfully unaware of McKenna’s not one but two visits down to crowd level. A few humble glances and shy smiles at one girl lucky enough to catch an early glimpse prove just how much McKenna cares about his fans at shows. Then finally, after months and months of anticipation the house lights drop. 

Cheers erupt. Retro rocking guitars fill the room and life is back to normal. Glitter, disco balls and all things glam are at the very core of Zeros and they make for the perfect opening hit ‘Beautiful Faces’. Events swiftly proceed onto the equally high energy tune ‘Rapture’ full to the brim of funk, synths and a healthy dose of existentialism. 

Taking a moment to introduce himself to the crowd, McKenna takes a moment to tease the (friendly) rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow (where he played just days before). 

“You know you have to be better right?” - Declan McKenna

Music resumes shortly after, this time with hits like ‘Sagittarius A*’, ‘Emily’ and ‘Make Me Your Queen’ that invoke sounds of musical greats like The Beatles. Furhter into the night, piano ballad ‘Be An Astronaut’ gives a clear nod to Bowie himself. Before the crowd realise, they’ve arrived at the end of a delightfully dynamic set lead by one of the most charismatic performers in British music right now. 

You can catch Declan McKenna on tour by copping tickets here!

Header Image Credit: Sophie McCarthy


Sophie McCarthy

Sophie McCarthy Contributor

I'm a freelance photography working primarily within music and I write a lot of the music stuff on here, including the 'monthly music news' blogs so look out for those! I'm based in London and currently intern at an artist and tour management company with offices in Metropolis Studios and love writing for Voice whenever I can...

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