Lotte Mullan

Lotte Mullan

BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

A musical journey between Nashville, Mississippi Delta and London, telling stories which weave together the worlds of comedy and tradegy; hoping to raise a smile aswell as pulling on your heartstrings.

Biography

“I have to be a full-time musician, because I’m a really bad waitress!”

With that conviction, 22 year old Lotte Mullan set off to play her collection of rootsy blues; her songs a captivating mix of soul, folk and country. She found sympathetic ears after winning ‘Best solo songwriter’ in a competition by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters’ and has, in a few short weeks, become one of Britain’s most promising young musical talents.

Born in what she fondly describes as “a small no-man’s land village” in East Anglia, Lotte learned the blues and much more at an early age. Having moved on from her early attempts at song writing – “my first song was a 12-bar protest about setting the monkeys free from the zoo; I was 8 years old when I wrote it” – Lotte hopes her songs will raise a smile aswell as pull on your heartstrings “There is nothing more satisfying that a good break up song, but it’s how you tell the story that counts, I’m not going to be another moaning singer-songwriter... it’s too easy!”

Watching her parents separate at the tender age of five, she learned the true heartache of breaking up wasn’t about lost love, family or even home, but rather about splitting the cherished record collection. When her Dad left home he left behind his pride and joy– a massive record collection featuring the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen. Believing him to be their rightful owner, Lotte used to steal records one at a time and deliver them to Dad on her monthly visits. Later, having discovered they really were part of her Mum’s collection, she reverted to stealing these same discs back, one at a time, and returning them home. Lotte’s remarkable anthem “Record Collection”, speaks volumes about what she observed and absorbed during those early years.

At age 7 she was given her first piano and by 15 Lotte was performing live in and around Norwich, backed by any musical friends she could persuade to come along, After leaving school Lotte worked for an insurance company for a year in order to fund her escape from small town life and see the world. It was here she began to write prolifically “the intense boredom of sitting in an office all day forced me into writing constantly, just to stay sane really... I used to pretend I was like James Taylor sitting in the brill building, just churning out the tunes, it was a song then coffee break, a song then lunch...I did a bit of paper shuffling too!”

As soon as she was able Lotte headed for New Zealand because it was about as far away as she could get. Travelling around in a Bedford camper van fondly named “Georgia”, Lotte quickly taught herself guitar so that she could continue writing on her travels. She is not short of a story or two having worked her way around the country fruit picking, taking tourists out on horseback beach rides (“everyone just kept falling off, it was mayhem!) and waitressing in a strip club (“I’ve never made so much money in tips, naked girls and cheap champagne does seem to bring out peoples’ generous side”).
Once back in London, she enrolled in music school because “good musicians don’t hang out in Suffolk”. Indeed it was here she eventually found the kindred spirits who make up her band.

While Lotte’s band and performance make for a captivating experience, it is the maturity and insight of her writing that truly sets her apart. “The promise faded faster than the tattoo” is but one of her lyrics about the disappointment of relationships that has caught listeners’ ears.
Tom Waits is the writer she most admires; her favourite Waits quote serving as a guide to her own song writing experience: “Just because it’s true doesn’t make it interesting”

But it’s the way this girl mixes Ray Charles with Bobbie Gentry, Eric Bibb with Led Zeppelin, and Bonnie Raitt with John Martyn that make Lotte such a marvel. As she says, “I’ve pretty much got heartbreak down; perhaps a collection of love songs might balance the picture!”
With songs like “Holdin’ on”, “Lonesome Heart”, and “Papa’s Got a Brand New Man”, Lotte is moments away from being on everyone’s iPod. Something tells me she doesn’t need to worry about being a waitress much longer.

Tom Rose- London- summer 2006

Lyrics

Record Collection

Written By: Lotte Mullan

The worst part of leaving is splitting the house in two
It’s not the life we shared, the loss of affection
No it’s dividing the record collection

Oh it pains me to part with Paul Simon
There are more than 50 ways to leave your lover
And I never got that respect that Aretha talked about
I guess you might aswell just take that one out
When it comes to the Police, that really kills me
But they say if you love someone you should set them free

The worst part of leaving is splitting the house in two
It’s not the life we shared, the loss of affection
No it’s dividing the record collection

Well I’m keeping Billie Holiday you never liked her anyway
I should’ve listened when she said I was fooling myself
Bobbie Gentry she’s coming with me
You always did say I was a little bit too Country
As for Led Zepplin, we’ll fight over them
I can give it some baby your time is gonna come

The worst part of leaving is splitting the house in two
It’s not the life we shared, the loss of affection
No it’s dividing the record collection

We used to dance to Van Morrison
But you never did take me into the mystic
I gave you Dylan you gave me Erykah Badu
We listened hard like only lovers do
Well I’ll see you next lifetime there’s no turning back
But you better step over the Blood on the tracks

The worst part of leaving is splitting the house in two
It’s not the life we shared, the loss of affection
No it’s dividing the record collection

The worst part of leaving is splitting the house in two
It’s not the life we shared, the loss of affection
No it’s dividing the record collection

Holdin' On

Written By: Lotte Mullan

There’s no surer sign then love inscribed
But the promise faded faster than the tattoo on my side
Well it’s not a crime to change your mind
And I know your weakness cos I’m with her all the time

The world is at war, while we don’t know what we’re fighting for
The Flower’s are dying but you keep on trying

You’re Holdin’ on like your hands are tied
Cos there’s nothing harder than an honest goodbye
The flicker of a kiss and one more broken promise
Made tonight

Life left you short of change
You said you had more time than money oh those were the days
Well it’s good to know you’ve been a fool like a high school photograph
You know where you went wrong, you can change and forget and move on

But you say remember how I used to chase you in the beginning
Well the race is long lost and you keep on running

You’re holdin’ on like your hands are tied
Cos there’s nothing harder than an honest goodbye
The flicker of a kiss and one more broken promise
To give me tonight

It’s so easy to fall but true love can break you ‘til you have no pride left at all
I’ll see you for the funeral of this cold and wasted heart
And the headstone will bear nothing more than the words
“Take me back to the start”
Take me back to the start
Take me back to the start

Cos you’ve got holdin’ on like my hands are tied
And there’s nothing harder than an honest goodbye
The flicker of a kiss and one more broken promise
By candle light

I’m holdin’ on
You’re holdin’ on
We’re holdin’ on

There’s no surer sign then love inscribed
But the promise faded faster than the tattoo on my side

Old shoes

Written By: Lotte Mullan


The day I fell in love with you it was just like trying on a shoe
It all happened so easily I didn’t really think it through
You said honey “we should get engaged” like putting a deposit down
Now we’re married and it’s all arranged there’s really no leaving town

It starts with holdin’ doors open, when times are rough copin’
I told you once and I won’t tell you again

I want you to want to do those things for me
You say “why would I want to wake at five just to make you a cup of tea”
Time serves no purpose than to crush a mystery
Flowers last no longer than a week

I’m lying here while you’re sleeping like a stranger in my bed
With thoughts of my first lover and sparks flying through my head
He kissed me under the stars and said he’d never let me go
And now you’re talking in your sleep and prodding me with your toes

Oh it’s holdin’ doors open, when time are rough copin’
I told you once and I won’t tell you again

I want you to want to do those things for me
You say “ there’s no need to go for dinner there’s food at home to eat”
Time serves no purpose than to crush a mystery
Flowers last no longer than a week

Oh it’s holdin’ doors open, when time are rough copin’
I told you once and I won’t tell you again

Games are played while love is made
And I wonder just how long it will take until it’s gone
If it was ever here at all, was it ever here at all?

Was is just holdin’ doors open, when time are rough copin’
I told you once and I won’t tell you again

I want you to want to do those things for me
Valentines day’s just once a year my love don’t come for free
I can’t remember the last time you held me like you need to
I guess it’s just like trying on a shoe

Oh I guess it’s just like trying on a shoe
When you say “I do” it’s just like trying on a shoe

Set List

We perform all originals at the moment, set length between half an hour to an hour.