MUSIC REVIEW: First steps in music’s ‘big pond’ for Kirton songstress Phoebe

BEAUTIFUL MESS: Phoebe Ophelia, an emerging acoustic singer-songwriter from Kirton, has achieved good airplay for her debut single, 'Beautiful Mess' on radio in Lincolnshire. Photo by Poppy O'Hara.

Kirton singer-songwriter Phoebe Ophelia introduced herself and debut single “Beautiful Mess” to potential fans at this year’s Holbeach Beer and Music Festival.

The song itself, which in vocals and melody is a throwback to Kim Wilde’s 1988 hit “You Came”, has been given lots of airtime on BBC Radio Lincolnshire this month to help advance Phoebe’s ambition to be a performing musician.

But her 30-minute set during the festival nearly two weeks ago also allowed Phoebe to showcase another original song, “City Lights”, as well as covers of Adele’s “Someone Like You” and “The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry.

Phoebe wrote “City Lights” while visiting San Francisco where she met a homeless man about whom the song was written.

Other covers in Phoebe’s set were “The Only Exception”, by US rock band Paramore, “All About You” by English singer-songwriter Birdy and Norwegian artist Sigrid’s “Don’t Kill My Vibe”.

Speaking about “Beautiful Mess”, Phoebe said: “The single has been going really well and I’ve had so much positive feedback from so many people I’ve been approached by since Beautiful Mess was the song of the week on the radio.

When you live in a rural area, it’s all very small until you get to London where you’re like a little fish in a big pond

Phoebe Ophelia, of Kirton

“But when you live in a rural area, it’s all very small until you get to London where you’re like a little fish in a big pond.

“There’s such a big musical picture in London, with lots of competition, and it’s a lot harder down there to be heard.

“But there are great places to go and play and lots of things to get involved with.”

Beautiful Mess itself is firmly aimed at the youth market but, surprisingly, the quality of sound provides enough evidence to suggest that Phoebe has a wider appeal beyond her own age group.

Phoebe started having singing lessons at the age of six before going to Thomas Middlecott Academy, Kirton, and on to Boston High School where she came under the guidance of music teacher Samantha Leake.

She said: “When I started Thomas Middlecott Academy, aged 11, I joined the school choir and performed in every school concert I could.

“Thomas Middlecott Academy really helped me in the early stages of my career and my first ever gig outside of school was at Brennan’s Bar in Spalding when I was 12.”

Now based in London where she is studying for a degree in vocals at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute, Phoebe’s appearance at the Holbeach Beer and Music Festival followed up a performance at FramFest in Frampton last June.

She said: “In London, you learn how to be a real working musician and whilst living there, my songwriting skills have come on a lot which is great.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do is be a performing singer and my ultimate ambition is to have my music heard by thousands, maybe even millions of people.”

Review and interview by Winston Brown

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