Concert therapy for singer

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SHE went from not having any confidence to perform, to being encouraged to sing at an open mic night in Rugby - and now Paula-Claire Flynn is enjoying gigging at a number of venues around town.

Paula, 24, who lives in Newbold, has always enjoyed singing from a young age but only enjoyed it as a hobby and never had the courage to perform in front of an audience.

That was until earlier this year when she was encouraged by a friend to go to the weekly open mic night at the Squirrel on a Wednesday.

The former Ashlawn School pupil said: “They gave me the confidence to perform.

“They gave me my first opportunity to do my first gig. It’s like one big family at the pub. They were so welcoming. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Paula met guitarist Simon Ainley at the Squirrel and together they formed their band Wispa.

Since then the duo have performed at a number of venues around town including the Black Horse in Bilton, the Queen Victoria, Quigleys and the Caldecott Arms.

They also recently performed at a fundraising fun day at the Barley Mow and a friend’s wedding.

Paula said: “My biggest gig so far has been at the Big Pig Festival in front of 500 people. It was great.”

Paula is an acoustic performer and writes and sings a lot of her own numbers. She also sings a selection of covers including hits by Adele, Bruno Mars, Katie Melua and KT Tunstall.

Paula said: “I do sometimes perform on my own but 90 per cent of the time Simon is with me. He’s very talented. I couldn’t do it on my own.”

Paula is now looking forward to more gigs in and around town.

She said: “I really enjoy it.”

The next gig Wispa will be at is at the Queen Victoria on September 22.

Anyone interested in booking the band for a gig can call Paula on 077408 82365.