Shannon Wardrop @ The Dublin Castle, Camden 04-07-11

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The music industry certainly has more than its fair share of female singer/songwriters at the moment. There seems to be one for just about every possible USP too- there’s the Welsh one, the folky blonde one, the eccentric one, the fat one(s), the heroin addict one…the list goes on. But it should have become quickly apparent to all in attendance here at Camden’s Dublin Castle (an apt location for any girl named Shannon) that this 18 year old was something different.

Refreshingly meek and modestly attired, Wardrop is evidentially not reliant on the faux eccentricity, pomp or ridiculous outfits of many of her contemporaries. And- as she opens with the acoustic countryish stylings of ‘Wolf That I Am’, before quickly switching to the electric guitar for the bluesy ‘Tongue In Cheek’ and the catchy-enough-for-airplay ‘Blasphemic Love’- it’s clear her music is not tied down to any one genre either.

But it is perhaps her voice which really sets her apart: at times soft, others soprano-pitched, still others menacing and brooding- it is a voice that is hauntingly compelling, and needs little more than the sparse guitar backing she provides it with. There’s certainly a bit of a Joan Baez or Janis Joplin about it all, sure, but the almost impossibly high pitched warbling that she ends many of her songs with is all her own.

Her closer- a brilliantly sparse reworking of The Kinks classic ‘Waterloo Sunset‘ (which she was regretfully playing for the final time, we were told), should be enough to have record labels chasing her all over London with their cheque books. And her USP? She’d probably just be the electric-guitar-playing, impossibly-young, multi-genre-embracing one.
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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.