Andria Simone: El Mocambo

Andria Simone #3.jpg

Toronto ON
Photo: Andria taking a little piece of your heart...

So it’s back to the exposed bricks and minimal wall coverings at the El Mo, making it just that little bit more challenging for mixing at volume. More on this later.
The willowy and tempestuous Andria Simone was in the house to work her debut disc 'Nothing Comes Easy' and generally buff up the brand. At 23, Simone’s still young enough to pull off the hippie brat rocker personna and it’s working for her, as a dance floor of adoring young female fans attested. They stayed with Simone throughout the trip, bustin’ out to every song and singing the words to covers and originals alike with bright-eyed enthusiasm.

...and doing what she wants...and doing what she wantsAs an interpreter, Simone doesn’t stray too far from the original takes while employing a vocal range and sense of humour needed to do justice to both “Piece of my Heart” and “Killing Me Softly”, while her punked out, throat-shredding rip at The Beatles “Oh Darling” upped the energy level in the room.
That’s the good news. The not so good with the volume thing hovered around from the get go but peaked on “Killing Me Softly” which could have been more nuanced. Can't lay that at the lady’s door because by then it was obvious this mix wouldn’t be doing anything subtle tonight.

This actually worked for the originals, since without a template to compare, they were taken at face value, and they gave good face. Simone has a co-writing credit on most of them and while the bratty thing shines through (“Do What I Want”, “Nothing Comes Easy”) it comes hand in hand with an infectious, sexy blues-rock swagger.

Loads of charisma and that voice will undoubtedly take Andria Simone places. That and strong songs will take her to great heights.

Oh yeah, all you dancing dudes, listen up. An Andria Simone show is known to attract an audience of quality ladies who like to shake it down so you can thank me later.

Story & photos:Lenny Stoute