With a recent decision to become an independent artist, from the opening bars of Oh Mississippi right through to the closing beat of her cover of Kid Cudi’s Pursuit of Happiness tonight feels like a declaration of Lissie’s emancipation. Nevertheless it seems striking that an artist can produce such a volume of work around the theme of freedom whilst cocooned in the safety of a record deal. This is by no means a criticism and tonight Lissie’s performance seems stronger and bolder than ever.
This is no small part due to the surrounding musicians, who offer us double drum kits, faultless guitar hooks, a string section and an airing of the Chapel’s recently restored organ. Still, whilst her band members and backing choir add an extra dimension to the mix, it’s the force and weight of Lissie’s vocals which steal the attention, demanding to be listened to. Shroud in particular pushes away from the melancholy transforming itself into a full on assault of the senses, whilst her cover of Judas Priest’s Electric Eye features the string section moving a heavy song to a more atmospheric offering.
Meanwhile older song Wedding Bells seems very apt for the surroundings and Everywhere I Go feels more poignant than ever. None the less, it’s Lissie’s vocal power which shines through. She’s come a long way since I first saw her in a small venue in Nottingham, but tonight she confirms that whether she’s playing to a small crowd in a badly lit venue, rocking to a hyped up sold out crowd at Koko, or delivering a more atmospheric church show, she’s able to deliver pitch perfect vocals which leave the crowd in total awe.