Just a girl who appears a no-shit woman when really all she is doing is speaking truthfully and powerfully about what she thinks about life. With an air of sarcasm and several thousand ounces of wit, charm and sincerity, Chantelle throws out a voice that make you cry, laugh and smile whilst you're covered in goose-pimples. She is rightfully admired by many and has the stage presence, voice, professionalism and instrumental talent of someone who will remain a massively influential musician/singer songwriter for many years to come. Well worth watching live.
(P)review: Su Jordan at the Port Mahon, 13 June 06:
Su J (known to her intimates as The Human Jukebox) is serious about her music. But not that serious. Fans of Fiona Apple and Thea Gilmore will appreciate her quirky lyrics, superbly precise and fluid voice, and most remarkably, her bass-heavy arrangements. Her songs veer between dark soulful ballads to pert, bittersweet jazzy putdowns and totally silly stuff with a dark side ("I live dangerously! Stand near the microwave when it's on! I live dangerously! I fly my kite under the pylon!").
A dark, manic pixie with a glint in both eyes, she's one of those friendly and professional performers who appear to be unaware of the chasm between stage and audience. During a technical hitch, rather than stand glacial and helpless like so many vocalists and wait for her sound man to sort it out, "Bugger!" she squeaked into the microphone, and raced across the stage to re-plug the offending item.
As she trained as a double-bass musician, it's hardly surprising that her songs are driven by bass rhythms. This completely removes her from the artsy-girl-and-guitar class, and makes for something much more interesting. I've seen two gigs so far - one with minimal accompaniment and one with heavy drums and guitar. Less accompaniment is definitely better. She's at her best when she's by herself with her vast double bass and her inventive voice. Drums are definitely wrong. You have to be able to hear the lyrics and the snaky vocal twists and turns; and her bass playing, when not drowned by folk-rock drumming, is both sensitive and zippy.
I hear her next gig will be solo at QI. I'll be there, and if you like music with a brain behind it, I'd advise you to be, too.