I’ve caught Poole and Bournemouth based singer/songwriter Tara Flanagan singing in Dorset a few times in the last six months. The first, a group of friends went to catch her playing at Poole Quay’s fireworks event in the early evening. I hadn’t heard her before, and was slightly dubious.
(I’ll admit that when it comes to female solo artists I’m a bit tricky to please, perhaps this is because of watching endless TV talent show auditions when I was younger and seeing hundreds of wailing girls believing they were the next Adele or Beyonce.)
Tara stepped out to a scattered crowd holding her guitar with a huge smile on her face – and wearing some of the greatest shoes I’ve ever seen if my memory serves me correctly. When she started to sing I was slightly taken aback, I had absolutely not expected the soulful, gentle voice to come out of her, let alone the vocal range she displayed over the time she was playing for.
I recently saw her again playing before a local band at Bournemouth’s The Winchester pub. I was once again halted by the way she can hold a stage, and deliver lyrics with such feeling it could draw emotion from a group of people least expecting it. Tara seems comfortable and at ease on stage, playing both piano and guitar to a mixture of unique sounding covers and her own original songs.
It is so clear that her natural talent could outshine many of the ‘pop artists’ you hear on daytime radio, and what makes her more of a joy to hear is the sincerity in her voice matched with the happy, friendly persona she has showed consistently throughout her YouTube videos and live performances.