Lisa Mitchell is a hit machine

LISA MITCHELL is too cute. Any flaws she has as a live performer are disguised by endearingly shy mid-song banter and awkwardly infectious dance moves.

Having just won the Australian Music Prize and a spot at Splendour in the Grass 2010, Mitchell is undoubtedly the artist of the moment.

Fittingly, Byron trendsetters flocked to see the indie sweetheart at the Great Northern last Tuesday. Coolness oozed from every fedora and lens-less pair of glasses.

Gorgeously haunting folkies Georgia Fair opened, followed by fellow Sydneysiders Boy and Bear.

Hype has been building around this band and first impressions were to write them off as another micro-folk sensation. But, drenched in autumnal melodies and sustained by pulsating drums and fervent acoustic guitar, the five-piece sounded like a deliciously melancholy soundtrack to a sepia-toned seaside town. Boy and Bear is a live band to cherish.

Mitchell’s subtle intro prompted dim enthusiasm from the crowd but a packed room and pre-show anticipation proved that many devotees were present.

Not until you hear her tunes back-to-back do you realise that Lisa is one hell of a hit machine. Only on the scene for around two years and the set list almost reads like a Stones concert – from Coin Laundry, Pirouette and Clean White Gloves, to older hits, Neapolitan Dreams and Stevie.

Unfortunately she occasionally fell short in the delivery. Mitchell rambled off the melody, almost drowning in her own lyrics as she strained to sing them on time. Most noticeably on favourites So Jealous and closer Oh! Hark!, which were somewhat unrecognisable.

Still some growing room, but if this is her first offering we are yet to experience the peak of Lisa’s pop prowess.

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