Music: Stevie-Jo Dooley, The Canteen

Refreshingly original singer-songwriter Stevie-Jo Dooley plays the upright bass and electrifies with her penetrating and confident lyrics. When I headed down Nine Tree Hill to The Canteen on Stokes Croft last night, I wasn't expecting to discover brand new music to get excited about.

But there she was. Stevie-Jo Dooley with her high, piercing vocals and understated performing style waiting to seduce an unassuming crowd. And seduced we were. The 18-year-old in front of us was older than her years, picking the bass with skill (she has training from the junior department of Guildhall School of Music and Drama and National Youth Jazz Collective) and singing with real conviction.

She had a confident and sweet demeanour on stage, and was simply sensational to watch. I couldn't take my eyes off her and her band whilst they performed. Dooley's songs are clever and very interesting. Immortal particularly stood out for brilliant lyrics and eccentricity and I loved Words for the pure conviction it has. Dummies is wonderfully witty too.

Abused, we Cry / Our rights have been denied / We’re left empty inside / Confused, It’s like / Our creators would endeavour  / To exploit their very errors [Dummies]

The band were very tight – backing vocalists Ellie Frank and Beth Stenning grounded Dooley's high-pitched fluctuations with steady, clever harmonies, and Oliver Davies provided controlled rhythm on the kit. These kids clearly work hard.

I care for those I care for therefore I am not a criminal / I like looking in puddles and seeing the clouds muddle / These unlawful habits must be my subliminal [Oblivious Skin]

To see somebody performing so confidently, and so originally, at so young an age is rare. Stevie-Jo Dooley is extremely talented and her music is unique. It echoes Kate Bush, perhaps, but apart from that it is defined by itself. It comes from a unique place. The unsettling lyrics, strong sentiments and eccentric mannerisms are beyond her years. She is one to watch.

Photo: Stevie-Jo Dooley

Buy Stevie-Jo's brand new EP Immortal HERE.


Popular Posts