Testing times for Lisbee Stainton as she lands prime spot on BBC's In Concert

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The Independent Culture

Soundchecks can be tedious affairs – stop-start sessions in empty venues where singers save their voices and musicians go through the motions. Big acts even have roadies do it for them. But it's a good job fast-rising folk-popper Lisbee Stainton does her own – it's just landed her a prime spot on the BBC's prestigious In Concert next week.

Stainton, 21, was supporting Joan Armatrading on her tour when Radio 2 arrived to record the headliner's set in Bristol last month. "I was soundchecking," Stainton told me. "They said they really enjoyed it and it sounded great, and made the decision to record us as well. It was a bit of a 'whoa!' moment. I was over the moon." As she should have been – she's in hallowed company, with In Concert this season already having featured Paul Weller, Stevie Wonder and Coldplay.

The Basingstoke-raised singer-songwriter, who plays a unique eight-string guitar, is used to surprising people: Tom Robinson was so impressed by her MySpace page, he called her in to play on his 6Music and Radio 2 shows. After that, her song "Just Like Me" was Record of the Week on the Radcliffe and Maconie radio show, and her last single was playlisted by Radio 2 for six weeks.

And that eight-string guitar? "It's made by a friend of mine. Tom Robinson compared it to a dulcimer. It opens up a lot of doors in terms of melody." Almost as many as a great soundcheck.

'In Concert', Radio 2, 20 May, 8pm. Stainton's album, 'Girl on an Unmade Bed', and single "Is Whispering" are out now on Marionet (Lisbeestainton.com)