Following on from a successful concert in Brighton last year, and a recent in-store appearace at a record shop, Lissie is currently touring the UK. Having released her fourth studio album, Castles, independently, she performed at Village Underground in London.
Since the release of My Wild West, she, as well as her shows, have changed. She has cut her hair, her voice comes across as deeper, she appears more confident in herself, and has a band with her. And yet she is still her, the storyteller from all of her albums.
Blood and Muscle begins the set. One of the singles from Castles, the sparse lyrics and drums kick off an evening of immense entertainment.
The mere presence of the band adds something extra to the show; I’ve seen Lissie solo twice before. However, the beat of a drum, the guitar etc bring out the best in her; this is music at its best. It’s a plethora of genres; rock, pop, indie. She is Lissie, a force of nature, unlike what you could say is a ‘mainstream’ artist’.
Yet there is a problem with Castles, her newest album; it suffers from being over-produced. However, when live in concert, the songs that form this collection are wonderful. They sound better, more real, substantial. And it all forms part of a good night out-and meanwhile, you’re hearing the stories of one woman.
As the music plays on, the way Lissie responds to it is striking. She dances with the music, partly lead by it, yet she comes across as prowling on stage. It is almost like she is responding to some higher power, something we as the audience cannot see; it has a haunting quality.
The monster of the voice we know brings out the best in the set list; highlights of the night include the foot-tapper When I’m Alone, the magical Castles with the language of fairytales, and the eerie Shroud.
Lissie herself is aware of how the audience responds to her lyrics: after finishing Love Blows, she tells us how love doesn’t always blow, however it did in this case. (There’s laughter and cheers in response.) However, she works well with the audience-feeding the microphone to capture us singing, responding to shout outs, as well as bigging up her records. Pockets of people are dancing, waving their arms in the air, their drinks sloshing about in their cups.
Over the course of approximately and hour and a half, Lissie is singing almost constantly. The set is a bit too heavy on new songs, though; among the songs not sung are Daughters, the feminist anthem, and Pursuit Of Happiness (cover). I’d have liked to have heard a more balanced set list. But ultimately I enjoyed myself.
So, go and see Lissie live in concert. She’s brilliant. You’ll be supporting an independent artist after all. And you’ll enjoy yourself.