Having only heard a couple of Lissie’s tracks, which we have on our Roots playlist and watched some video performances I had no idea what to expect when I got to the Thekla in Bristol. Lissie was supporting Joshua Radin which was a great exposure opportunity for her, although I sometimes feel they’re under more pressure as they tend to walk in the shadow of the main act who most fans are there to see.
The Thekla is in fact a ship as are a few other venues around Bristol but what was great about this gig was that it was a very intimate experience thanks to everyone being close to the stage. You can even get away without a mic as Joshua Radin demonstrated later in the night. I managed to get a good place on a balcony where I could see everything from the artists to the audience reaction. Anyhow, Lissie came on after The Staves, a fabulous sister trio, and had a warm welcome from the audience although I got the impression few people knew of her. Her single “In Sleep” and “Little Lovin’ ” are getting airplay but not on the scale to have given everyone there the familiarity of an overplayed Radio One artist…
Lissie has a very laid back country girl look about her, and by that I don’t mean Nashville, I mean a girl that has lived and breathed the outdoor life, a slight look of innocence with great charm and maybe an underlying mischeviousness or maybe that was wishful thinking on my part as she’s also a very attractive woman…I don’t want to get too sidelined here but I could have happily sat through a much longer set. She was dressed in jeans and a loose white t-shirt and boots, her long blonde hair was naturally un-styled and she has a gorgeous freckled face that looks like she enjoys the great outdoors. A very naturally beautiful woman.
She kicked off after a short introduction and chat with Wedding Bells. As I said, I’d only really heard In Sleep and after hearing this she had my full attention. She has a subtle fragility in her voice that is not that disimilar to a cross between Patsy Cline and Neko Case. It was a beautiful yet sad track to open to, but looking around the audience I could see that she had captured the interest and maybe even the fascination and awe of everyone. She has a great stage presence and showed no sign of nerves at all. Quite the opposite in fact , it felt like she was there to have fun. This was sort of compounded by her looks.
Some of the tracks were very stripped down which really showed off her voice and also made me aware of how quiet the audience were being. I didn’t hear anyone talk through her songs which, as many of you know, is a rare thing in gigs these days. Even the couple next to me who kissed and slobbered (yes it was gross and f***ing annoying) all the way through joshua Radin managed to keep their hands and mouths off each other during her set which was a great relief as I was there to see Lissie.
The band were spot on and despite the short set they got their exposure. Lissie seemed as happy to show them off with a great bit of guitar lead which just made her all the more endearing. Unfortunatley she didn’t annouce all the tracks which didn’t surprise me really, she just wanted to get straight into the next one but there was one track that really did get me, it was another slow one and it’s annoying the hell out of me that I haven’t tracked it down yet.
The whole performance was captivating. She has that Wow factor…one minute you’ve got a lump in your throat then she’s got you stamping your feet along to one belter of a song where she immediately destroys and preconceived idea you may have had that she didn’t do rock ‘n’ roll. Excuse the cliche but she definately knows how to rock!
I’ve added some live recording videos below which give you a great feel for her music although her record company seem to have removed permission to embed some of them which is really bloody annoying. So instead I’ve added a home recording she has filmed which is a really nice cover of Bob Dylan’s Ramona which makes me go all mushy…yes I’m smitten OK!
When I’m Alone
Lissie has an album called “Catching a Tiger” due out in June but her EP is available on Coumbia now.
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