Live Music + Gig Reviews

Rosie Oddie @ 93 Feet East, London

9 August 2007

Rosie Oddie is a young female singer from London whose father is famous. Beginning any article about her without mentioning that other young female singer from London whose father is famous is always going to prove difficult. The best way for Oddie, daughter of birdwatching Bill, to carve out her own niche will be by letting her music stand on its own merits.

As Oddie herself stands before us, she is tiny. She sports ridiculous fell-out-of-bed hair and drips with gold glitter and matching accessories. There’s something of Bat For Lashes‘ Natasha Khan about her, albeit dragged through a hedge backwards. With her appropriately named band The Odd Squad, they made their way through a slew of songs that have been loitering around on the internet for the last few months.

Making out any of the words proved problematic with a sound system that specialises in soupiness, and the tunes didn’t sound as fresh as they do online. Opener Tight Space was forgettable, but things perked up with the next number, Willy White. She played guitar on these, and with two other grizzled axemen and a college jock bassist possibly half their age on stage, she cranked up a heavier, rockier sensibility than her Lahndahn contemporaries. Her voice however is slightly difficult. Her vocals had a sultry, jazzy tone on some numbers, but elsewhere her croakiness was reminiscent of Donald Duck quacking. Distinctive at least, she competently covered So You Want To Be A Boxer, taken from the film Bugsy Malone, and made it quite her own.

While some of her own songs didn’t make much of an impact, others were pretty decent. Uncle Fred, with its infectious chorus, and recent single Genni’s Song stood out, although the latter uses Kate Nash‘s trick of speaking some lyrics when they might’ve been better sung. But even these, two of her better songs, didn’t seem quite right. They are average songs with good bits in them. The song that impressed the most was her closer, Cola Coka. As the Bang Bang You’re Dead style intro turned into a bouncy pop number, the crowd showed a real interest and it became impossible to avoid joining in an impromptu sing-a-long.

With a setlist of just eight songs, one point of note was how different they all were from each other. Possibly she’s still experimenting with her musical identity, but that’s no bad thing – it’s still early days. She’ll have to put up with comparisons to her peers for some time yet, but they’re only superficial and she doesn’t appear to want to be a new version of anyone else. If she can tighten up some of her songs, her potential will carry her on just fine.

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Rosie Oddie @ 93 Feet East, London