*Live Review written by guest writer Oonagh Collins*
Currently touring with her third solo album ‘Second Love’, she seemed on excellent form and sounded very good in the cosy surroundings of the landmark Mancunian music venue.
Opening the show on her own on stage with ‘The Hypnotist’s Son‘ provided the crowd with a nice, intimate moment. Emmy The Great aka Emma-Lee Moss, was soon joined by her band following the second song onwards.
Her collection of songs are so personal and confiding, often feeling at times very much like a solo show – a conversation with the audience. She’s a very charming and witty performer, managing to come across as humble too. Throughout the night she spoke of her connections with Manchester, having written her debut album nearby. For once, the standard “I love Manchester” patter from the performer came across as sincere! She also deftly handled some noisy, drunk girls in the audience very politely and professionally, much to the crowd’s delight. (On a side note – Noisy Girls: when everyone is telling you you’re annoying, you are annoying!)
Emma-Lee’s voice is so sweet and soft that at first you don’t register the dark, brooding subject matter, which is largely based on past romances. There’s also a theme of technology’s effect on personal relationships; accompanied by a ghostly black and white video image playing on both sides of the stage, featuring Emmy dancing mechanically and using a mobile phone.
The night featured a good mix of songs from her previous albums, with songs from ‘First Love’ (2009) and ‘Virtue’ (2011). ‘First Love‘ and ‘Swimming Pool‘ were definite standout songs in the opinion of my fangirl friend. I also enjoyed ‘Canopies and Grapes‘ which began the encore, cunningly updated to reflect name checked bands from the 90’s that had broken up/reformed since its writing. The night closed with ‘Paper Forest‘ which was a pretty magical ending to a wonderful show.