During an 11 day holiday, including two bank holidays, a Katie Melua show was just what the Doctor ordered, and a break from gardening and erecting a shed was very welcome.
Tonight's show at Birmingham's classy Symphony Hall was the rescheduled venue for 'The House Tour' to come to town.
I must admit at this point at not knowing a single bean about Katie Melua so whilst doing the weekly shop in Asda I found an album for £3, unbeknown to me it was Katie's latest offering album wise. After hearing the album I was pleasantly surprised and looking forward to the show.
We got to the venue quite early and caught support Jonathan Jeremiah. He provided us with an acoustic set, and was accompanied by a violinist and cellist, a quite chilled out set featuring 'Happiness', 'Lost', 'Hearts Of Stone' and 'See'. A 30 minute set which whizzed by.
Once the house lights went up we noticed that the audience were all dressed up like dogs dinners and we had seemed to have a wardrobe malfunction, turning up in jeans and T-shirts, mind you the audience was made up of 40 and 50 something's with a few retiree's thrown in for good measure.
The house lights went down and everyone applauded, Katie Melua's voice rang out through the speakers, she was hidden behind a curtain, first song 'Closest Thing to Crazy', was welcomed with open arms, as soon as the curtain was swished back we got the full effect of Katie's dress, knobbly knees and open toed boots/shoes.
Katie had been accompanied by a small band comprising of lead guitarist, who looked like she'd lent him from Kasabian, bass guitarist, drummer and keyboardist come piano player: They supported Ms Melua amazingly and gelled rather well.
During a few of the songs we were treated to graphics of various guises from bare chested, muscley male dancers to 80's style Space Invader graphics, they really complemented the songs.
The show was amazing from start to finish; we were treated to a 22 song spectacular. I must admit that the album songs for 'The House', although quite chilled and subdued on the album transferred well live and were superb.
Cure classic 'Just like Heaven' was up next, followed by Melua classic 'If You Were a Sailboat' the audience lapped it up big style. Song after song followed, I was loving every minute of it, 'The Flood' and then spectacular 'Tiny Alien' and 'I'd Love to Kill You' ensued.
The set was mainly made up of album tracks from 'The House', but we were treated to a few covers, one in particular was astounding and one of Melua's personal favourites 'Lilac Wine' by Jeff Buckley, she explained that she was asked if she could sing one last song what would it be? And yes this is it; she sang it beautifully, with only a guitar for company. Absolutely beautiful.
'God On The Drums, Devil On the Bass' was an absolute stonker, a bit more edgy and rockier than the album version, much to my surprise the audience stayed sitting in their seats apart from two women who were on the top tier, they were getting quite mad with the audience and egging them to get up, but this never happened.
Title track 'The House', followed by everyone's favourite 'Red Balloons' which Melua said she had co-written with long time friend Polly Scattergood.
The songs just kept coming, 'Twisted' and 'A Happy Place' kept the audience happy and set closer 'My Aphrodisiac Is You' was the icing on the cake.
We were treated to a finale of finales, three songs: Another Melua classic '9 Million Bicycles' it went down a storm. 'Kozmic Blues' and 'Spiders Web' were the final two songs.
This show was spectacular and surprising; Melua has a fabulous vocal range and is probably one of music’s most underrated female artists. If you have never seen her live, well you better book tickets now because you're missing out.
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article by: Michelle & Trish Owen-Williams
photos by: Michelle Owen-Williams
| published: 03/05/2011 12:55|