Lisa Knapp – Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen

No video from the night, so here’s “Black Horse” from Lisa’s latest album, Hidden Seam.

Why this gig?

I saw Lisa Knapp at the Bert Jansch tribute show last December and marked her down as someone that I should investigate further. It wasn’t too long before tickets for this show went on sale, so I snapped one up.

Support

Support was from Joe Innes. He played some very interesting songs and the audience seemed to warm to him quickly. It’s just a shame that there were only about twenty people in the room to see him. I wouldn’t object at all if he was playing at another gig I went to.

Headline

Lisa won a BBC Radio Two Folk Award recently for “Two Ravens”, one of the songs from Hidden Seam, so I was expecting the gig to be sold out, but there were only about fifty of us there. Which is a shame as Lisa had a great talent and deserves to be seen by far more people.

She started with a couple of more traditional sounding songs which went down very well, but it wasn’t very long before things got a lot more interesting. Many of the songs on the new album wander some distance from the traditional folk that first brought Lisa to people’s attention. One good example is “Shipping Song” which draws a lot of its lyrics from the names of the shipping areas that surround Britain. I’ve heard people compare some of her new work with Bjork and, judging from this performance, there’s certainly some basis for that. A couple of times even her voice sounded a lot like Bjork’s.

Lisa is a great singer and multi-instrumentalist. But she also surrounds herself with other very talented people. I want, in particular, to mention the percussionist who was making all kinds of interesting noises. At one point he was breaking tree branches in front of a microphone – I’ve never seen that before.

This show was a bit of a gamble. I had only ever heard her sing a couple of songs before buying the ticket. It really could have gone either way. But I’m happy to report that it was a fabulous gig and I’ll be seeing Lisa play again as soon as possible.

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