BPREVIEW: Lissie @ O2 Institute 03.12.16

BPREVIEW: Lissie @ O2 Institute 03.12.16




Words by Ed King

On Saturday 3rd December, Lissie Maurus (aka Lissie) performs at the O2 Institute – with support from Teddy Thompson.Birmingham Preview

Being held in the Institute2 room, doors open at 7pm. Tickets are priced at £22.50 (+booking fee) as presented by Live Nation and SJM Concerts. For direct gig info and online ticket sales, click here.

Bouncing onto the UK music scene in 2010, Lissie’s debut album – Catching a Tiger – reached No12 on the UK Album Charts. Eventually catching the A Playlist on Radio 2, the debut’s third single, ‘Cuckoo’, would introduce Lissie’s gritty kaleidoscope of blues, rock, folk and country across the UK airways. With two (arguably stronger) singles already in circulation – ‘In Sleep’ and ‘When I’m Alone’ – 2010 seemed to be the Year of Maurus. The press loved it, the public bought it, Columbia Records seemed loudly proud that they’d released it… and low, all was bountiful.

But the fickle nature of humans, music and industry brought the rising balloon to an early standstill. Back to Forever, that always fun ‘difficult second album’, came out in October 2013 – full of ‘fist pumping’ tempos, anthemic chord structures and power ballads laments.

Despite being a hugely engaging record for anyone born the wrong side of 1980, the mass appeal didn’t seem to be there; Back to Forever was a significant shift from the live-at-union-chapelgritty Jewel-with-balls approach of Lissie’s debut LP. The skies darkened and the phone stopped; the holy trinity weren’t so supportive of Lissie’s sophomore album… and low, all was bare.

But deities, doors, and metaphors aside, this is the pivotal point that makes Ms Maurus such and interesting prospect once again. Lissie left Columbia to release her third album, My Wild West, via her own Lionboy imprint in early 2016 (with Cooking Vinyl and Thirty Tigers) – a superb 12 track LP, mixing jangly guitar walls of sound with stripped back piano, rolling thunder production with honest vocal leads.

An absolute step up, My Wild West gained the critical acclaim it so deserved – positioning the now autonomous artist as someone to watch. Again. Plus Lissie still has the major UK tour operators on her side, so, you know. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

In November 2016, Lissie would further release Live at Union Chapel – a 12 track foray across the singer/songwriter’s portfolio, with one in homage to Joni Mitchell. And why not indeed. To read the Birmingham Review of Live at Union Chapel by Lissie, click here.

‘My Wild West’ – Lissie 

Lissie performs at the O2 Institute on Saturday 3rd December, as presented Live Nation and SJM Concerts. For direct gig info and online tickets sales, click here.


For more on Lissie, visit www.lissie.com

For more on Teddy Thompson, visit www.teddythompson.net

For more from the O2 Institute, including full event listing and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham


ALBUM: Live at Union Chapel – Lissie

ALBUM: Live at Union Chapel - Lissie*On Saturday 3rd December, Lissie Maurus (aka Lissie) performs at the O2 Institute – with support from Teddy Thompson.

To read our BPREVIEW, with links to online ticket sales, click here.*

Words by Ed King

It’s impossible to review Live at Union Chapel without cherry picking the ebbs and flows of Lissie Maurus’ musical career. But I guess that’s part of the point.

Lissie’s second live album (from a London venue too) was released in November 2016 – with a set list of great, good and go on then from the artist’s three previous studio albums. All acoustic, all solo; there is nothing hiding the musician from her music in this …Union Chapel LP. And since the release of her first autonomous album in February 2016, My Wild West, that vulnerable yet powerful premise is somewhat defining.

Live at Union Chapel starts with ‘Bully’, a tried and tested album track from Catching a Tiger with the name of her debut LP in the first stanza. It works as it should do, with the easy, inescapable melody delivered across the venue’s renowned acoustics. ‘And we are so damn proud of you’.

…Union Chapel’s second track, ‘Shameless’, is more of a production swerve ball – coming from the less well received Back to Forever, which is as far away from a stripped back acoustic set as you could run whilst holding a guitar. And whilst I’ll usually plumb for the less glitzy approach, I prefer the heavier production on the album track – although the acerbic nature of Maurus’ songwriting is much clearer when belted down the isles of the north London blasphemy.

‘Sun Keeps Rising’ is the third track on …Union Chapel and the first from Lissie’s self released LP, My Wild West. With a softer, dark, mournful timbre, ‘Sun Keeps Rising’ is a claw to the heart – delivered this time through six strings not 236. Maurus has always been a solid songwriter, but it is towards the end of ‘Sun Keeps Rising’ that we get the first proper mouthful of Lissie’s exceptional vocals.Lissie UK Tour 2016

Outside a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’, and why not, the remaining eight tracks on Live at Union Chapel repeat the triptych – although the beautifully controlled and addictive ‘They All Want You’ is the only other track from Back to Forever.

And this is perhaps the only swing/miss of this Lissie‘s sophomore live LP. Whilst listening to Live at Union Chapel I am left wanting some of the production cotton wool from tracks such as ‘In Sleep’ and ‘Hero’, yet every acoustic outing from Back to Forever shows just how prolific a songwriter Maurus can be.

I liked Lissie’s second album – for different reasons to its predecessor, but for the same strength in lyrics and melody. And performed with nothing but nylon and vocal chords it’s difficult to argue otherwise.

I’d have been tempted to wrap that around a brick and throw it through some windows before crossing the Atlantic again.

Live at Union Chapel by Lissie Maurus is out now, released through Lionboy Records, Cooking Vinyl and Thirty Tigers. My Wild West was released in February 2016.

For more on Lissie, visit www.lissie.com