Words by Ed King
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 gritty 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