Nottingham Concert Hall played host to Katie Melua on Monday night for a very chilled evening of light music.
Supported by Keeva, a young lady of a similar singing style, who on her Instagram says “I try to write songs that make grown men cry. The kindest thing.” She was received warmly by the audience who appreciated the simplicity of the one woman and her acoustic guitar format. Keeva definitely complimented the ambience that was to follow when Katie came on stage.
When she did, it was almost a sombre stroll that she took to her spot centre stage. Opening up with “If You Are So Beautiful”, which is sung in Ukrainian, it is hauntingly dreamlike and set the precedent for the mood of the evening. Adding to the atmosphere were giant screens behind her playing animations of different nature scenes; whales swimming through the ocean, a stag walking into the woods, foxes playing in a secret garden, birds flying over a forest as the trees below slowly pass by below. It was easy to get lost in this dreamscape of visuals and Katie’s soothing voice.
As she went through the songs, she was joined on stage by other musicians. Her brother on guitar. A gentleman on drums, and another on keyboard. Notably, though, was when the Gori Choir came to the stage. An 8 strong female choir, Katie met them some years ago in America and has been collaborating with them on a Winter inspired album, and they really did add that night before Christmas feel.
Although I can’t profess to being long standing fan of Katie’s, and before that night I wouldn’t have been able to name any of her songs, I was able to have a little under the breath sing along to Nice Million Bicycles (probably her most well known song), O Holey Night, and Diamonds Are Forever. The latter brought a smile to my face because, well, James Bond, and she did an excellent job of making it her own.
It was a really relaxed and comfortable evening and made a welcome change to the more fast paced rock type gigs I attend. It was a lovely way to wind down after being at work all day. If you want to be able to go and listen to music and let your mind drift at the same time, then I would highly recommend giving either of these talented artists a visit if the opportunity arises.
Words by Johnny Banks
Photos by Andy Tatt – @andytattphoto