Archive for the ‘Lisa Mitchell’ Tag

March.

I know you've probably seen this before. But it was a highlight of March.

As it’s the end of the month and I can’t be bothered to write anything good, I thought you might enjoy an insight into the goings on within my mundane little life. Let me begin with a cliché: this month has flown by. I’ve actually done quite a bit this month come to think of it, but in about six hours it shall be over.

March was a month of busy Thursdays. First up was the Lisa Mitchell gig that was very much enjoyed. The following week I was out with the father at La Dolce Vita (which was rather lame), however it was followed by the most amazing rib of beef at Bouchon Breton so all is forgiven.

The next week brought with it my sister’s 16th which was celebrated with a family meal in… Shoreditch. I’ve never heard of anyone going on a family outing to Shoreditch, but we did. And it resulted in a delicious meal at Beach Blanket Babylon. Their duck, mash and green beans were amazing. I’m not always a huge advocate of duck when it’s not Peking. I’ve been fortunate enough to try some of the most amazing Peking Duck in Hong Kong and I often find the breast itself too bland without being cooked this way. This was not the case with the offering of BBB which was succulent and generously surrounded by a hoisin sauce, providing me with the hint of the Chinese flavour that I love so much.

This brings us to last week where I had two exciting events. Tuesday was the day of Paloma Faith’s gig at the Corn Exchange, whilst Thursday was the highlight of my life so far the Bran Nue Dae screening. Both were very pleasant though it was obviously the latter that brought me more excitement.

What else have I learnt this month? Well, I learnt that I like jewellery. If you were a part of the 200+ page views that I got over Sunday and Monday then I’m sure you’re already aware of this. I passed my driving test this month and can finally drive Kylie (Yes, my car has a name linked to my love of Neighbours. Get over it.) without those L Plates drawing attention to my regular failed parking attempts.

As for April? Well I’ve got tickets to two gigs already – starting with Amy Macdonald this Tuesday thanks to teentoday.co.uk. Then towards the end of the month I finally get to see Nerina Pallot again after a three year hiatus (last time resulted in me missing the last train home from Tottenham Hale!) I’ve got two days at Channel 4 as part of Inspiration Week in the holidays which I’m really looking forward to and shall inevitably use as an opportunity to network and promote my blog/Teen Today. Oh, and Venice next Thursday for a few nights en famille before I return to school for that dreaded French Oral. But let’s not spend any more time dwelling on that…. Tell me, how’s your March been?! (That means comment. I don’t bite. Promise.)

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Lisa Mitchell, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun and Benjamin Francis Leftwich at ARU, Cambridge

A cold winter spring night in Cambridge. An Australian singer songwriter is performing. Who is in the crowd? Obviously, it’s me. “Who is tonight’s obscurity from down under?” I hear you all ask yourselves rhetorically. Well, I shall ignore your use of rhetoric and tell you that this performer is a young girl (I think she’s nineteen, maybe twenty) and her name is Lisa Mitchell.

Her claim to fame over here is that Neopolitan Dreams was played in the Surf Advert. I say it’s ‘her’ claim to fame, she didn’t actually mention it as she played at the Anglia Ruskin Student Union. In fact, she failed to say much at all in between her songs. Perhaps she was feeling a little quiet last night as she politely thanked the audience after every song before strumming away at the next one. This didn’t really allow for massive audience interaction but the three drunken Australians doing strange jigs throughout the set suggested that she didn’t disappoint despite her lack of banter.

The set started late, with Lisa not arriving on stage until 10.34. Fortunately I did not need to catch the particularly early last train home from Cambridge at 10.41 as I would have missed the entirety of her set. My thanks have to go to Frankie’s dad for coming and driving us home. Had he not then it would have been a bit of a waste of a gig if I’m honest.

Nearly all of the songs from Wonder were played. Though sadly my favourite song from an EP, Alice In Wonderland was not. Lisa doesn’t have the most powerful voice, but she manipulates it to work alongside the instruments to create a unique sound. Whilst I’ve mentioned that her audience interaction could be improved, her random hops and awkward dancing entertained us in the likes of Neopolitan Dreams and Coin Laundry.

Supporting Lisa, were both Benjamin Francis Leftwich and The Boy Who Trapped The Sun. Whilst I’d previously seen the latter as a support act for Pete Murray in August last year, the first act was unknown to me. However I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by his vocals and acoustic guitar playing. His set could have done with one or two upbeat songs in there but that wasn’t his sound and I’m not going to judge him for it. The second artist, accompanied by a cellist, was still as good as when I first saw him. His track Dreaming Like A Fool had struck a chord with me last time and, despite it never being released and me not having listened to it since I saw it, I still managed to remember all the words to the chorus. “You could never be an actress/I know the knife’s under the mattress/If this is love I’d rather keep dreaming/Dreaming like a fool” There’s just something about those lines that makes them so powerful. Admittedly sleeping with a knife underneath you is pretty full on, but he’s crafted the metaphors into the song so that it’s complexity becomes enchanting. He’s got a new EP out now, and he assured me that Dreaming Like A Fool will be released in the summer.

Overall, it was a great gig. And well worth the six pound ticket. The venue was alright as well. It wasn’t even half full though which wasn’t great for an artist who deserves a lot more recognition.

Lisa Mitchell – Wonder

Lisa Mitchell was an artist whose name I’d heard a lot of before I decided to listen to her work. With an ARIA nomination under her wing, I found myself drawn to listening to Wonder after seeing her impressive performance of Coin Laundry at the awards ceremony.

Wonder opens with a short forty six second taster of Mitchell’s voice. Singing the classic Oh What a Beautiful Morning you are introduced to the rawness of her vocals. Her voice sounds cute, edgy and youthful; the latter is due to the fact that Mitchell herself is only just out of her youth.

Next you are given the opportunity to enjoy Neopolitan Dreams. With a voice that reminds me of Kimya Dawson, Mitchell uses what sounds like a glockenspiel to create a catchy beat to lay the vocals on top of. Having seen live performances of this song on YouTube, it appears that Mitchell gets caught up in her own little world as she strums her guitar and jumps, like an over excited toddler, around the stage.

“Even though you’re poison babe, I wouldn’t even hesitate” are lyrics from So Jealous which approaches the regularly sung about topic of a fledgling relationship. She sings of being “So sick” with love. Whilst some lyrics aren’t the most original, Mitchell matches them with her edgy voice and musical abilities to produce something quite special.

A favourite of mine, Coin Laundry, is Mitchell’s most well-known track. Having gained enough recognition to earn her a nomination for Best Female at 2009’s ARIA’s, the song received significant airplay in her home country of Australia and has a lovely video to accompany it. The video is, unsurprisingly, set in a laundrette with Mitchell playing a character who is invisible to others.

Clean White Love, Pirouette and Love Letter all demonstrate the versatility of Mitchell’s voice with varying tempos. Whilst Oh! Hark!  impresses you with some soft vocals combined with a louder, faster chorus.

Stevie is a reasonably long track, approaching five minutes in length. However I feel it’s a great length for this song. Ok, so there is a lot of repetition of “Oh Stevie, why can’t you see you’re God to me?” but it just works. There are slower instrumentals breaking up the verses, breaking up the repetitive chorus.

The rest of the album follows suit with songs that are as you’d expect. It’s not that I’m not impressed by them, I just feel that they are very much “album tracks” that aren’t quite up to the standard of being single material

Whilst it’s not an album track, I want to mention Alice In Wonderland as a lovely song that I would recommend for you to listen to. I’ve got tickets to see Lisa Mitchell perform in Cambridge on March 4th. She’s got a lot of dates around the country, so if you’re a fan of Kimya Dawson or generally a fan of my obscure Australian recommendations then I think she’s worthy of you parting with your money to see.