Emmy the Great live review

Posted on 12 October 2011
By Samantha Maine
  • Share:

Emmy the Great has always been one of the underdogs; part of the girl with a guitar gang but always out shone by the mainstream successes of her peers.

Born in Hong-Kong to an English father and a Chinese mother, Miss Lee-Moss became fascinated with the British countryside after moving over here at the tender age of twelve.

Her song writing was constantly encouraged, as she attended Steiner school and her talent flourished.

In recent months Emma has been getting a few nods from some very important folk in the industry. After her debut album release back in 2009, ‘First Love’ received plenty of compliments, securing Emma’s place in the indie-folk circuit.

In June of this year, Emmy the Great released her second effort ‘Virtue’ with fellow band members Euan Hinshelwood, Tom Rogerson, Jenny Lau, Ric Hollingbery, Pete Baker and Joe Chilton.

The album itself is an extremely personal offering, commenting on the disintegration of Emma’s relationship, back in late 2009 when she started writing the songs for the album.

We’re no stranger to albums of heartache, with Noah & The Whale’s hugely successful ‘The First Days of Spring.’

Apart from Adele belting out fury at former lovers, we’ve yet to hear from the slightly more sombre offerings of young singer/song-writers. Tonight, Miss Moss is about to put her heart on the line.

Her emotions are apparent from the get-go. As Emma Lee-Moss takes to the stage at the Fleece, she begins her set with a solo song, staring deep into the eyes of the back wall.

It’s a little unnerving to say the least; the audience seem unsure of this somewhat angry stare but this simply adds to the beauty of her lyrics.

Her guitar is turned right down, the audience are silently appreciative and Emmy the Great’s set is fully underway.

The members of the band take to the stage for the second song and after some minor technical glitches, the set turns its attention to an upbeat approach.

The music is certainly upbeat and the band’s accompaniment is a welcomed addition. However, the lyrics protruding from the stage still smother the audience with the pain of splitsville and this begins to get a little testing.

Nevertheless, Emma’s raw talent shines through and her unusual yet accessible vocals prove that this girl has received her just-deserved recognition.

The set is then broken up, as Emma decides to play an older song from her previous album – much to the delight of an excitable few.

After discussing her hatred for M.I.A’s comments on the riots, Emmy the Great delve into one of the highlights of the set; changing the lyrics and proving it’s not all doom and gloom in Emma’s world.

The Fleece hasn’t been this busy in months and it’s obvious that Emmy the Great have come a long way. Emma’s vocals are more treasured than ever and her poetic stance on song-writing is a refreshing change to the usual droll we hear on Radio 1.

As a unit, the band is better than ever. Euan and Emma’s chemistry as musical counterparts is what makes this evening stand out from the usual singer-songwriter combo’s.

At times, the songs did manage to merge into one, as the reoccurring theme of love and loss took centre stage.

However, there were glimpses of perfection as Moss mixed up her set with a few golden oldies, making her transition from the underdog to top dog closer than ever.

Photo by Laura Williams