Say She She – Live Review – Project House, Leeds

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By Graham Clark, March 2024

Take a band of talented musicians who look like they’ve been transported from the late seventies (Orgone), add three classically-trained singers, add contemporary moves and attitude and you have Say She She. It might sound rather random, but in practice it works perfectly.

The band’s name sounds like a line out of a Chic song, and considering that their track ‘C’est le Bon’ is influenced by the band and, in particular, Nile Rodgers it’s no coincidence. Nya Brown, Sabrina Cunningham and Piya Malik came together in New York – the former two are American with Malik from London.

Releasing their second album Silver last year, the record was followed up with a memorable appearance on the BBC’s Later… With Jools Holland which won them many new fans. Such was the demand for tickets for the Leeds show it had to be moved from Brudenell Social Club to the larger Project House.

Visually the three piece may look like homegrown acts such as Sugababes, but musically their influences are contrasting – late sixties soul and seventies disco with a smattering of Mary Jane Girls, Labelle, Tom Tom Club and the aforementioned Chic.

‘Reeling’ kicks off an assured, confident, and commanding set. The classical training becomes apparent immediately on the track, particularly as Cunningham’s vocals soar, giving the song an almost angelic quality.

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“Vocal talents”

Playing their ace card so early on with ‘C’est le Bon’ might have seemed premature, but there’s deserved confidence in their other songs, as Orgone and the three singers come together for a musical masterpiece, with the enthusiasm and energy from the stage being felt by the appreciative audience.

Leaving Malik to do most of the song introductions, Brown and Cunningham save heir energy for the music – and dancing. Naturally, there is a costume change mid-set which allows Orgone to play a funky instrumental. The three singers return dressed in gold and launch into’ Astral Plane’. The song soars as the harmonising demonstrates their vocal talents – close your eyes and the sound replicates the recorded version, which was recorded live.

A commendable take of the Jackson Sisters’ ‘I Believe in Miracles’ gives Say She She an opportunity to wrap up the night in style. However, the song does demonstrate that the band really need an anthem of their own to close a show. Who knows, maybe a collaboration with Nile Rodgers is not impossible?

After tonight, one thing is certain – the next time Say She She perform in Leeds the will need an even bigger venue. As for this show – C’est le bon.

images: Graham Clark


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