Lisa Wright 229 The Venue concert review

23 May, 2018: Lisa Wright at 229 The Venue, London

“I’m so bloody glad to be here!”

Lisa Wright started with a song that set the tone, Rising Strong. The lyrics, Wright’s engaging twang, and her fast delivery showed she meant business.

The bass line continued straight into a mash up of I Want You and Beyonce’s Daddy Lessons. The band made the cover song their own with a military tattoo style beat and a hard stop. The crowd was right behind Wright already. In fact, they audibly melted for Before I Die.

True to form, it wasn’t long before Wright had them laughing as she regaled them with stories from a recent interview: “we’re surprised to hear you sing then talking to you.” A beat, a pause, a flash of a smile then “what you talkin’ ’bout, mate?” in her best Essex accent! That’s Lisa Wright for you: smashing stereotypes and defying expectations.

The next question was sadly inevitable: “for someone so positive, why are you so sad in your songs?” They ain’t seen nothing yet! Wright’s brand new EP, Mind Of Mine, is a corker of a confessional. Indeed, the next song up, Never Gonna Fall In Love, was a case in point.

Wright spoke about the liberating feeling of making music that she’d want to listen to rather than thinking ‘is it country enough’. She name-checked Carole King and Gene Pitney in the process. “I can’t belt but I’ll give it a good go” she grinned. The crowd knew better than to believe any self-deprecation when it comes to Wright’s vocal prowess.

Giving Up The Ghost was the next EP track, following closely behind Waiting For Rain. Then it was time for an instant classic, the new EP’s opening track, Tennessee. There was an extra treat in store as co-writer Kaity Rae stepped up for backing vocal duty.

There was also time for a sweet rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time and a countrified version of In the End. Just like Megan O’Neill’s album launch at the same venue a few weeks earlier, our time with Lisa Wright at 229 The Venue proved short but sweet. Wright’s obvious mastery of her craft, clear modesty and endearing personality all distilled to a memorable show, evidence by a roaring trade in EPs.

If you haven’t got yours yet, you’re in luck; it’s not too late.

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