Mollie Marriott | Borderline | 1 June 2017
(photo credit: Laurence Harvey)
“The right backing vocalist will mould their voice to fit the lead singer rather than just stand out and sing in their own voice,” explains Mollie Marriott, a former backing vocalist herself who’s now walked the 20 feet to stardom.
“It took me some time to figure out what I actually sound like myself, because you can be quite impressionable as a backing vocalist, picking up bits and pieces from other people.”
But Marriott, who stepped out as a solo singer after working with A-grade talent including Oasis and The Faces, has certainly found her own voice. Powerful and charismatic, with a hint of melancholy, it’s a finely tuned instrument perfectly suited to the confessional, deeply personal songs she’s written for debut album ‘Truth Is A Wolf’.
Drawing inspiration from the likes of Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, and Stevie Nicks, without ever sounding derivative, the forthcoming LP forms the basis of Marriott’s biggest London headline show to date. One of the venues on her bucket list, Borderline is perfectly suited to the intimacy and immediacy of not just her songs, but her approach to performance, which she compares to “cutting yourself and bleeding in front of your entire audience”.
‘Run With The Hounds’, which opens the hour-long set, is the perfect introduction to her heart-on-sleeve lyrics and vivacious voice – subtle on the verses, towering on the choruses – that gets a full workout tonight. The tender piano-led ballad ‘Broken’ and pain-drenched ‘Armour’, performed with just her guitarist, emphasise her control and restraint.
The sultry ‘Give Me A Reason’ and alluring ‘Ship Of Fools’ highlight her blues chops. A gutsy take on Aretha Franklin’s ‘Baby I Love You’ shows she’s got a lot of soul. The stirring ‘Gravity’, glistening ‘A Million Miles’, and quiet storm ‘Transformer’ capitalise on the range and raw emotion of her delivery. And feisty new single ‘Control’ proves she can rock out with the best.
- Mollie Marriott releases ‘Truth Is A Wolf’ in September and is the special guest on Bad Touch’s November UK tour.