Lindi Ortega brings sensual country at London showcase
Very much a “cause célèbre” in her native Canada, and already an established singer-songwriter in her own right, Lindi Ortega looks poised to crack the UK music scene on sheer charm alone. Lindi’s heart-warmingly frank and tuneful set at Denmark Street’s hallowed 12 Bar venue has only added to the momentum currently building up around her.
Resplendent in a black veil and signature red boots (which inspired the self-referential and sultry title track of her new album, “Little Red Boots”), she took to the stage in front of an intimate audience and won them over completely with a set of rollicking and often bruised country songs.
Ortega’s muses may be derivative – broken hearts, life on the road and the dubious comforts of love and illegal substances – but it hardly matters when the material is pulled off so assuredly, and so earnestly. Her voice is the main draw, a glass-shattering tool of deadly power and precision that veers from deranged, Jack White-esque yelp to damaged Emmylou Harris country croon, in a manner that hints at a hedonistic yet ultimately unfulfilling rock‘n’roll lifestyle far more than her slightly hackneyed lyrics ever could.
Meanwhile, she is never less than charming on stage, flirting with the front row, incorporating a stuffed animal prop from the audience into her stage setup, and unashamedly name-dropping her musical influences: Johnny Cash gets an obvious shout-out, with a rabble-rousing singalong cover of “Folsom Prison Blues”, but Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski and Kevin Costner (her recent tour-mate in the States, of all people) get nods too during the course of the set.
After the show she stuck around to speak to her fans and pose for photos – not that she had much choice in the matter given the size of the room, but a lovely gesture nonetheless. Given her obvious talents and through-the-roof confidence (her latest release, reminiscent of golden-era Nancy Sinatra, has the refrain “I have not yet found fame / But you’re gonna know me by my little red boots”), you get the feeling it’s only a matter of time before her heartfelt tales of debauchery find a wider audience on these shores.
Photos: VJ Von Art
Listen to Lindi Ortega play Angels here