It’s difficult to comprehend that we have had been listening to wonderful voice of Lady Nade for over seven years. Equally strange is that many people are still unaware of wonderful talent. In those distant days Myspace was your direct route to hear all those upcoming performers who hadn’t managed to put out a record, or CD as it was then. I can’t remember what quirk of fate guided us to her fledging Myspace page but I do remember that there was just one track that you could play. It was unlike anything else that was happening at the time.
The voice was extraordinary, deep, dark textures, imbued with a sense of soul that was staggering. Comparisons were difficult to make but you could hear the worldliness and weight of Nina Simone, the fragile beauty of Billie Holiday, and vulnerability of Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons. To find out that she was technically too young to play in the clubs of Bristol seemed ridiculous.
We were in the fortunate position of being able to put on some gigs and were delighted to be able to sneak her into places like Mr Wolfs (as featured in the photo), watching at close quarters as this teenage talent held the audience in rapt attention. It was clear that she wasn’t trying be anyone else, her’s is a voice is unlike any other. No vocal gymnastics or histrionics, she just let the voice and her self-written songs stand in the spotlight and weave their magic. Over the years a variety of line ups have come and gone, jazzy, bluesy, folky but always with Lady Nade’s immense soulful presence the gigs may have been small rooms but they had depth of feeling that could overwhelm a stadium.
This week thanks to the BBC Introducing team we caught up with Lady Nade for the first time this year as she shared the stage with Nuala Honan, and Rozi Plain in a very busy and hot Golden Lion on Gloucester Road. Currently performing as a duo, with long time bass player Adam, they were both on top form. A short but compelling set featured several songs that were new to our ears, including one towards the end of the set which induced a tingle along my spine that was worthy of some the electrical storms that we have been enjoying recently.
It sounds as though finally an album is being recorded, until it finally emerges into the light you can hear a variety of tracks on Soundcloud and via her Youtube site. We will point you in the direction of a hauntingly simple song called “Hard to Forget”. Recorded at home with lovely harmonies from Amy Yon it’s a teasing sample of what we can look forward to from this gifted singer who is still only in her early twenties.