Emmy The Great @ Jazz Cafe 19th February 2014

As soon as I saw that Emmy The Great had announced a one off show for The Fly Awards I knew I had to be there. I simply love Emmy The Great and have been a fan since I saw her play with Lightspeed Champion at Koko in 2008. The last time I had witnessed her was on Chinese New Year in 2013 where she performed a short but sweet set in Trafalgar Square. I remember back then it was pouring down with rain. A year later she was playing at the Jazz Cafe. I simply adore this venue because it is so intimate inside. After support from Just Julia it was then onto the main course. Emmy had previously said she would play completely new material. Things like that can always be risky but Emma pulled it off by singing 8 new songs, 3 oldies and a cover.

“Hi” Emma said the moment her and the band graced the stage. Armed with an acoustic guitar it was Sonic Youth that opened up the set. I rather enjoyed this and it was the first time I had heard something new. You could see this as a preview of the 3rd LP and Emmy hasn’t changed her genre in the slightest. Sonic Youth was infectious and had been perfectly written. I also found this to be really beautiful and I cannot wait to hear the mastered version of it. “It’s good to be home in Camden. This song is about River Phoenix” Moss said before Phoenixes. Now everything about this was incredible. It was gentle on the ear and it was rather hypnotic at the same time. It was then onto a tune from Virtue and this being the pacey Paper Forest (In The Afterglow Of Rapture). Its lyrics were quite something and infectious at the same time. Immediately after it was onto yet another brand new cut. This being Solar Panels and it was completely different compared to Sonic Youth and Phoenixes. There was a Rock feel to this number. The lyrics were superb and had been perfectly written “Japanese, Companies are making energy, Off the heat in California”.

“My name is Emmy The Great” Moss said before revealing she was selling her pristine copy of Katy B On A Mission as she Spotify’s songs now apart from her own which she pays for. Having introduced the band it was then onto Swimming Pool. The vocals were stunning and this number was a slow one which was delivered to perfection. “This song’s about texting” Emmy said before getting stuck into Social Halo. This was literally sublime and there were synths as well. I was left completely captivated by this mellowing hypnotic tune. Once over it was then onto Dance With Me which was a duet with Gabriel Bruce and this song had been written especially for this show. Before Emmy mentioned how she wasn’t interacting with the people up on the balcony and joked that they would do a 2nd show. Back to the tune itself. All I can say is the fact that this was simply stunning. Dance With Me was played at a steady pace and spectacularly delivered. The final new song of the night was Ego and this was extremely promising. I was left completely mesmerised. Its lyrics were very light and infectious “And it feels like the end of the world”. The title track of the debut album ended the night and this being the sublime First Love. I especially liked the lyrics of this tune “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, And the sky was so much bluer” and the fact it was utterly infectious.

Once over they all left the stage. They didn’t get that far as everyone was chanting for an encore. The final 3 tunes of the encore consisted of a newie, oldie and a cover. “This is a fucking serious song about heartbreak” Moss then said before Somerset. This number was rather dreamy and it was very sad at the same time as the lyrics made you picture the story behind the song. After Emma’s brother Robin rejoined the stage to play guitar for their take on Bob Marley’s Mellow Mood. All I can say about this is the fact the Emmy The Great take was extraordinary and chilled out as well. After this extremely short cover it was then onto the light We Almost Had A Baby. I loved its steady tempo and it sounded ever so beautiful.

SET LIST

Sonic Youth
Phoenixes
Paper Forest (In The Afterglow Of Rapture)
Solar Panels
Swimming Pool
Social Halo
Dance With Me
Ego
First Love

ENCORE

Somerset
Mellow Mood
We Almost Had A Baby

OVERALL: I simply adore Emma Lee Moss. She is an excellent singer and a superb songwriter. What was showcased was extraordinary. It makes me anticipate the 3rd LP. Even though I enjoyed all the new songs which were showcased my favourite had to be Social Halo which was ever so beautiful followed by the infectious Sonic Youth. Also the Gabriel Bruce duet Dance With Me was extremely impressive.

Also a mention must go to the support act Just Julia. They did a sterling job warming the audience up with a short but sweet set. This female folk duo consists of Talicza Stevens (Aphrodite and the Alphabet)  and Zoe Saubat, In fact I witnessed Talicza supporting Polly Scattergood at Shacklewell Arms January last year.

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