Lissie, The Script
Luke Langlands 15/09/2010
As I type this, The Script are playing to a jam-packed audience at The Edinburgh Corn Exchange. I'm assuming that they're going down an absolute storm, but unfortunately I had to leave before they started, as I have a heavy-duty bout of Man-Flu invading my entire being and soul. I shouldn't have went to the gig at all, but there was absolutely no chance that I was throwing away a chance to see Lissie - one of the brightest and most gifted female solo artists to emerge for decades, at one of my local venues.
Entering the Corn Exchange, I quickly realised that the majority in attendance were fourteen year-old girls and middle-aged women, all to see The Script. To say I stood out (twenty-one year old male, lanky and coughing profusely) is somewhat of an understatement. I looked awful, felt awful, and kept getting that 'glance' you get from other people when something's not quite right. Honestly, I never cared. I knew it would be worth it. If anything else, I towered over everyone else by about five foot, so at least I had a brilliant view of the stage! Lissie mentioned on her Facebook page yesterday that she's having to shrug off a cold to play tonight. If she can manage it, I'm sure I can.
The band quietly comes on-stage; the audience doesn't seem to care that much - apart from a few cheers here and there, it's subdued. 'Little Lovin' kicks in, and my illness immediately dissipates. It sounds even better than what I expected. Lissie does what hundreds of store-bought cold and flu tablets couldn't. Second up, 'When I'm Alone'. Still, the majority of the audience seems to refuse to give the Illinois songstress an inch. I feel like shaking people: 'Listen to her! She's pouring her heart and soul into every single vowel and consonant!'. Then, it happens…
…third song in - 'Everywhere I Go'. The first verse is delicately strung at a snails pace and whisper, and suddenly Lissie bellows out the chorus note-perfect, at a volume that makes several people jump. They're not talking amongst themselves anymore. The audience is captivated, watching the singer nail every word, and her band hit every note. This time, the band gets the applause they deserve. That's more like it, people!
Lissie doesn't rely on gimmicks. She doesn't need outrageous costumes, a shady personal life or celebrity fans (although Katy Perry is quite the admirer). She answers every question and misdemeanor against her with a hearty, brilliant voice that's going to compared with constantly to Stevie Nicks (not exactly a criticism!), or perhaps a much better Diana Vickers with a voice that doesn't sound like it's made of glass. In a generation full of Gaga's, Lissie is the perfect slap in the face we all need.
The last few songs, the audience can clearly see Lissie is in pain singing due to being under the weather. She takes in water (and a little something else from a non-descript small cup) after every song, and needs a few seconds to compose, yet every song is perfect, she never falters once. She's a true professional: whether she's headlining a show in front of thousands of adoring fans, playing for one person in a bar, or openings for The Script, she will always give her very best. Her band are also excellent, with the bass possessing some of the most gorgeous tones I've heard live. The audience acknowledges the effort they're all putting in, and cheer accordingly.
The final song ('In Dreams', probably the most well-known out of the set) hits its final chord, and Lissie leaves the stage to a raucous applause. She certainly convinced these, a lot of which wouldn't have heard of her before. I guarantee a lot of them will call themselves fans now. Within seconds, my cold nudges me, as if to say 'Err, I'm still here, by the way'. I can't handle a thousand screaming women baying for three Irish men at the best of times, especially not now. I head for the exit to the bemusement of the security guard:
"You want to leave? They've not started yet!"
"I came to see the support act, not The Script, and to be honest mate if I stay there's a 40% chance I'll projectile vomit."
"Oh, right. Cheerio then!"