Gig Review: The Rua – Manchester Arena

The Rua

Combining vocals, guitars, a piano and a violin together to create an irresistible cinematic pop sound, it’s easy to see why The Rua are riding high in America

It’s safe to say that The Rua are no strangers to playing huge venues. After opening for Train, Adam Lambert and Goo Goo Dolls on their recent US tours, the sibling trio make a welcome return home to the UK to support Westlife on their 30-date comeback Arena tour.

Born in Windsor into a family of Irish descent, The Rua are a family pop rock band consisting of sisters Roseanna (lead vocals, guitar), Alanna (piano, backing vocals) and brother Jonathan Brown (violin, vocals, guitar). Since the release of their debut album ESSENCE in 2015, the band has grown from strength to strength and are currently riding high in the US with their current single GASOLINE at number 28 in the Billboard chart.

Opening their 20-minute set with the upbeat ALL I EVER WANTED followed by toe-tapping PROMISING, it’s clear that The Rua boast a very different musical vibe to fellow support act Keelie Walker. Blending elements of 70’s AM rock with traditional folk and cinematic pop, their music is described as a sound mix of Taylor Swift, The Cranberries and The Corrs, with vocals, guitars, a piano and a violin, all combining together to create a cinematic pop sound that is instantly irresistible.

The best tracks are those which see the band alternate vocals with HEY YOU, a track from their new album particularly standing out as Roseanna and Jonathan trade off lead and harmony roles in a tight vocal interplay. An acoustic version of I WILL LEARN, a self-penned song about not losing yourself in a relationship also stands out as a highlight, its stripped back nature showcasing Roseanna’s raw and expressive vocals.

The biggest reception is reserved for their new single GASOLINE, a beautiful and carefully crafted ballad which slowly builds into a soft rock classic. The Celtic inspired EMERGENCY EXIT also gets a great reception from the audience, its upbeat chorus and haunting harmonies making it a sure-fire hit.

The set closes with WON’T LET GO, a piano-driven pop track with catchy lyrics, demonstrating the reason why The Rua are such a big hit in America. Watch out for them in the UK charts soon.

The Rua support Westlife on their UK Arena Tour until 19 September 2019