Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Review | Lisa Mitchell

by Ashlea Maher, 16th March 2010. All photography by Sara Newman
Lisa Mitchell @ Monto Water Rats, Tuesday February 9th

We came. We saw. We left early.

Mitchell was second on the bill at a showcase at Monto Water Rats on Tuesday, and it was packed! An Aussie/British battle played out anew, as the fight for pre-performance pole position raged before Mitchell even took to the stage. The Australian contingent defiantly stood their ground, while the Poms moaned about  being jammed up close against their Commonwealth cousins. Pfft, we should be used it; it was just like a District Line peak hour commute after all.

So, arriving after the unknown first act with my festival etiquette in full force, I attempted to enter the seething pit (weird for a chick rock gig). Maybe I’m getting old, but I backed out and took up my position up the back, my view hampered by the tag-along boyfriends. I better get braver before Glastonbury. Cue camera stuck up in the air to see folk-pop pixie Mitchell greet the tense crowd with a sharp new haircut, a glam gold dress and the tune Coin Laundry – popular among everyone regardless the crowd war.

Clean White Love, Neapolitan Dreams, Pirouette, cool new single Oh Hark! and an average cover of Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet later and the set was over. Was that it? Apparently so.

We fought for national pride, for a 30-minute set and no encore? Surprisingly, yes. After a five-minute ‘will she or won’t she’ wait for an encore, Monto’s went from not being able to swing a cat, to a more normal Tuesday night gig scene as the next act set up. And who was it? No-one cares. Lisa was over. With only a vague memory in which to write an appraisal, I went in search of comment to give my review the 'view' it needed, and where better than to start at the top; with someone who definitely was at the front.

A congenial Mitchell - who'd hung around at the bar after her set longer than most of her fans - said she really enjoyed the gig and was blown away with all the support. I have it on good advice too that a local Monto regular was also quite blown away by the level of the Aussie turn-out; overheard at the urinals (like I said, good advice), exclaiming, “I’ve never seen it this packed in here". His equally disgruntled pal reliably informing him, "Yeah. She’s from Australian Idol”. The Pom next to me in the crowd, however, preferred to weigh up the tight situation in fiscal terms: £6 ticket + a beer ÷ 6 song set = £1.33 per song. "Not really value for money," he declared.

Were you near the front and lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Lisa performing? If so, leave your comments below and help Ashlea add some 'view' to her review.

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