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Naturally good sound from Lisa Canny and Belle Roscoe

14th June 2018

Creating a natural sound in tunnels (see our previous blogpost) may make a challenging prospect for sound technicians, but those tunnels make an atmospheric venue for music.

Belle Roscoe

While the audience most likely didn't give a thought to the acoustic efforts of PSL Media in creating the sound, they certainly couldn't miss Irish harpist Lisa Canny. Again, though, it's the artist's work behind a gig like this that is often missed; the attitude of the performers is key. “Lisa is a pleasure to work with," said PSL's Adam Hornblow. "She’s very particular. Not diva-ish at all, but meticulous in all the right ways.”

Multi-talented Lisa Canny, from County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland, headlined at the inaugural event at 26 Leake Street. If harpists call to mind sedate young women in evening dress with a large instrument between their knees, then you’ll have to readjust.

Lisa Canny

Lisa also plays the banjo, has a Masters in Ethnomusicology, was named winner of UK’s Future Music Songwriting Competition, and has won seven All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles.

At 26 Leake Street she burst onto the stage, pumped the audience up and launched into powerful, sassy hiphop beats which the harp—an Irish harp that weirdly looked much bigger from the back of the venue than it did from the front—takes to surprisingly well. Hear her latest EP, Freedom.

The treat of the evening for us, though, was the support band, Belle Roscoe. Brother and sister Matty and Jules were described as ‘Fleetwood Mac without the infighting’ by Barry Divola of WHO Magazine. Certainly there’s a touch of Stevie Nicks about the look, and Matty’s and Jules’ synergy has real star quality.

26 Leake Street

Their rapport is enough that Jules found it necessary to explain their relationship to the audience—“There is no sexual tension here,” she told us. “Matty’s in a relationship but I’m single.” Pause. “I think that’s the first time I’ve pimped myself on stage,” she added.

Vocal harmonies and moody guitar work, backed by a driving rock beat combined with a folky percussion by Jules, give the songs something of a haunting quality. I’d defy you not to find yourself humming the Known Better chorus once you’ve heard it.

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