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Only four of the tables in the room had people on it, unusually quiet for the time of evening as Wales and the Swans were both busy getting themselves victories in Rugby and Football respectively. Yet, what those four tables in that room heard and witnessed would probably be something they would not forget for a while, for on stage a sensation gave that small audience one amazing performance. Irregardless of the numbers (which did pick up nicely as the evening progressed) at the beginning of the Garage Showcase event, a monthly event held at the Garage in the Uplands (Swansea), MLE was undeterred in showing those that were there exactly what she was made of.

If you missed it, you missed something unforgettable. Accompanied by an acoustic guitarist, the singer, song writer and self-producer MLE dazzled the spectators with a vocal range that could not only come from someone who first had the natural talent to begin with, but has also taken the time to refine her voice into a truly beautiful musical instrument. Even though she was performing with only an acoustic guitar, it was obvious here was someone who could easily become the next Pop princess and a search of the internet later revealed the suspicion that she was more than capable of taking this title as the full instrumental version of ‘Take Me To the Disco’ is available for preview on her facebook page.

Did I say Pop princess? Well, in a world of pop which as much about image as it is anything else, she blends in with that “Daddies girl all grown up and rebelling” look which would not look out of place upon MTV. With hair swept to one side and a brazen undercut clearly visible, her image is one which can easily connect with the youth of today without being pigeon holed into one specific group or another. But image is nothing if it is not backed with more behind it and to this end MLE displayed this in her stage presence, not only clearly getting into her own music whilst singing but also in the way in which she engaged with the audience between songs. Her bubbly persona shone through along with quick wits, lacking any of the diva qualities so often seen in others of this style of music. Indeed catching snippets of her conversation with some of the audience after her set, she clearly is a down to earth kind of girl who seemed able to strike up a friendly conversation with virtually all walks of life.

Back to the music though and MLE’s original songs are delivered so cleanly it is the kind of stuff that would not be out of place when played on a popular radio station, either locally or nationally. The lyrics and style gives you that impression of fun, light hearted times that so are so typical of the night life of our modern culture, though I do think a special mention is worth making of her rendition of Running Up That Hill. Personally, I all ready like three versions of this song (Kate Bush’s original plus Placebo and Within Temptations covers), but now I have to say I like four versions of this song and dare I say it, MLE certainly gives Kate a run for her money with this old classic. Have no doubt, MLE is a rising star and should easily be considered our new ambassador from South Wales into the world of Pop.

More info at www.myspace.com/mle_music and www.reverbnation.com/mlemusic

Words: S.P. Draken
Photo: Nick Murray