Emmy the Great @ Bodega Social 11/02/09

With the NME shockwaves tour playing at Rock City I’m surprised by the turnout tonight and the room is heaving with anticipation as Emmy takes to the stage. Such is the hype surrounding her at the moment that as soon as she starts to sing the audience are instantly silenced. Attentive to this shy jumper wearing girl the crowd listen to every song whether its just her or she joined by her strange band of chavs all dressed in Fila tops, hoodies and baseball caps. Playing songs from her self financed and newly released album ‘First Love’ it quickly becomes clear she is a performer of two halves and her success will rest upon which she chooses. Firstly she can channel the likes of Laura Marling, Beth Orton and when her whole band are playing even Arcade Fire, but the other side to her suggests the likes of Kate Nash and Lily Allen as she uses pop references and dodgy lyrics. Title track of the album brilliantly blends in ‘hallelujah’ but you can’t help but wonder if the timing (three versions all in the top 40 before Christmas) was just luck or well planned. When she eventually does speak her frail voice is nothing like the one she sings with and it’s hard to hear the banter she shares with the first few rows. Although looking out of place the band are tight and there are a few truly brilliant songs in her set (no Pixies cover ‘Where is my mind?’ sadly) but on reflection this performance was more Emmy the o.k. and I still think she has some growing to do as a artist and I just hope that she grows in the right direction.

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