Leddra Chapman + Lee Broderick @ The Robin, Bilston – Thursday 28th May


Review By Woody

I was very much looking forward to a show of laid back acoustic driven pop rock and although these one man and a guitar shows tend to happen at smaller intimate venues, I thought it was nice to experience a show like this on a larger stage.

First up tonight is Lee Broderick who also plays backing guitar for Leddra, and whilst I’d done a lot of research on Leddra, Broderick was an unknown entity for me. I instantly took to this highly experienced and travelled song writer’s style and songs; his angst driven, heartfelt lyrics really hit a chord with me and many of his songs came across far bigger than you’d imagine a vocalist alone with an acoustic guitar could make them. A lot of that is down to the impact of the melodies and emotion behind the performance.

His vocals are perfect for the style of music he performs, always conveying the right emotion dependent on the tone of the song and its lyrics. ‘Broken Hearts Don’t Lie’ was an instant favourite for me; powerful and emotional and when I get my grubby mitts on this track it’s guaranteed to go straight onto to my 3am playlist. The impact of his music is all based on the emotion behind the words and he delivers them with an intensity which makes them resonate that bit more with the audience. These songs and these words are important to him and that really helps for the audience to click with him.

Also amongst the set list was ‘Merry Go Round’, ‘Is It Over’, ‘Loveless Street’ and a great cover of Nick Lowe’s ‘What’s Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding’. I was very impressed and this young songwriter is definitely one to keep an eye on if you like the softer side of rock music.

chapman After a short break Lee came back to the stage with headliner Leddra Chapman who was met by an appreciative audience response. There may have only been an intimate turn out tonight but it was clear to me that many in attendance were Leddra gig going veterans and they showed that appreciation in between songs. The audience were always highly respectful of the performers; there was no talking during songs or talking over them between songs which I thought was nice as acoustic gigs can so easily be ruined by chatterboxes.

Given the banter between Leddra and Lee, it’s clear from the offset they aren’t used to playing venues like the Robin, being more accustomed to smaller venues – cue jokes about the height of the stage and potential mosh pits! It’s also clear Lee and Leddra have known each other and performed together for some years, as it really felt like you were watching two mates jam together in the corner of your living room; that easy going banter also gave the show an enjoyable, relaxed feel to it as well which I liked.

Leddra’s style is a little less angst ridden than Lee’s. Although she does have a lot of emotional and deep stuff in her catalogue her sound tends to come across more playful, bubbly and poppy. She has an amazing voice and she delivers some wonderfully unforgettable melodies throughout her set and when needs be she conveys that bit of emotion when needed on the right tracks.

Starting with the radio friendly ‘Playground’ Leddra paced her set well and time flew as she went from a delicious upbeat pop tune to a deep and meaningful ballad without ever losing the audience’s interest. Elsewhere the set contained ‘A Little Easier’, ‘Tongue Tied’, ‘Lioness’, ‘All About You’, ‘Brave’, ‘Promise You’ and ‘Lose Yourself’.

You learn something new every day and tonight I was shocked at learning that you hold wine glasses in different ways. As Leddra informs us of the story behind her song ‘Wine Glass’ about a boyfriend who used to give her grief if she held a wine glass wrong, apparently if you’re drinking white you hold the stem and red you hold the bowl.  I swear posh people wouldn’t last five minutes in the Black Country, next you’ll be telling us you need more than one fork, knife and spoon when eating!

My actual favourite song from Leddra’s set was one written by Lee, ‘The Goodbye Song’, and I absolutely adored this emotion driven song with its unforgettable chorus and I loved Leddra’s vocal inflections on the chorus, stirring stuff! Another highlight was the cover of the Crowded House classic ‘Fall At Your Feet’ which initially when she announced it, I internally screamed ‘NO!’ – ‘Fall At Your Feet’ is a well established member of my 3am playlist from way back when and to hear a version of the song that doesn’t give it justice is likely to end with me banging my head on the table and screaming. Thankfully it was a really great version and it was good to hear it live as I have strong personal connections to that song.

Coming back on, the encore was opened up for requests to which we got a shout of ‘Fish Face’, which Leddra was quick to jump on and decided to do the song ‘Fallen From Grace’ following her explanation for us not familiar with the song’s nickname.

Leddra is a very entertaining performer in her own way, with a delightful voice and songs that are extremely easy to enjoy and that tend to get stuck in your head. If laid back acoustic driven pop rock is your thing, I’d seriously encourage you check out Leddra Chapman.