Paul The Girl - Club Designer Magazine @ Bar Amp - 1.2.07

New York, Los Angeles, Austin's SXSW.... next stop South Manchester. It doesnít seem the natural choice of tour dates for Paul The Girl who has received international acclaim wherever she stops off and lays her guitar. Here in the UK despite appearing on the national radio with Phil Jupitus and being called "The most singular female talent the UK has produced in 20 years" by Mojo magazine, the British record buying public by en large prefer their female singer songwriters to be bland and inoffensive ala Katie Melua or that heinous crime against music Sandi Thom. By the end of tonightís set with just a guitar and vocals she'd managed to bring Manchester to a stand still as they forgot about drinking and were mesmerised by this outstanding genius.

To call Paul The Girl a folk singer would be to do her a disservice as there's so much going on here. Imagine PJ Harvey at her tuneful yet experimental best, the sound of the Delta Blues or a female Jack White before he decided to sell his soul to Coca Cola. Each dark tale twists and turns like a Jimmy McGovern drama and it's the most powerful dark noir sound that one person can make with a guitar. Generally this music works best on your own with the lights turned off Paul The Girl is one of the few artists that captureís this intensity perfectly in the live arena.

Although on record the likes of "Too Drunk" and "Little Miss Weird" have full band arrangements, tonight she manages to outshine the rest of the bands on the bill with little more than a guitar. If 2007 is going to be the year of the female singer songwriters such as Manchesterís very own Karima Francis and Londonís Nikola Rochelle with her melancholic jazz then Paul The Girl surely deserves to be part of the vanguard.

There were many words that Designer Magazine could use to describe tonightís set, but the only one that seems fitting is genius

Alex McCann

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