Thursday, May 30, 2024

Katherine Priddy – The Glee Club 5th May: Home Town Hero Lights Up The Stage Yet Again In A Sell Out Show

Promoting the release of her second studio album ‘The Pendulum Swing’, Katherine Priddy returned to her hometown to play The Glee Club in Birmingham on Sunday 5th May. Supported by the acoustic folk of George Boomsma, this was the 5th in a string of sold-out shows.  

Taking To The Stage

Despite the minimalistic set-up of Boomsma, his whistling and guitar, his sound was deceptively full. Had he not clarified the full band production of his album, I would have been fooled into believing the stripped-back arrangement the crowd enjoyed on Sunday was true to the studio recordings. A natural choice to support Priddy, the reoccurring themes of nostalgia, home and familiarity repeat across her music and Boomsma’s ‘My 60s Weekend’, ‘Chinatown’, and ‘Johnnie Walker Guy’.

A night of firsts for Katherine 

her first time performing as a trio, touring the new album and her biggest hometown show. The audience watched in quiet reverence, so much so you could hear the shutter of the photographer’s camera between her haunted falsetto. Priddy’s outstanding musicianship was complemented by the equally talented George Boomsma and Harry Fausing-Smith. Her genuine appreciation for her audience was felt, thanking them for attending and rewarding them with an array of luscious three-part harmonies. 

Unique Sounds

The violin transformed from sharp, expressive cries in ‘Selah’ to underlining the influences of the Classics on her songs ‘Icarus’ and ‘Eurydice’. It was easy to understand what Katherine meant when she said the latter was written with strings in mind, with the hum of the violin bringing a fullness to the track. Swapped out for the mandolin during ‘Northern Sunrise’, Fausing-Smith’s diversity as a musician was also evident. Designed to capture the essence of ‘an old house’,  the home video clip of Katherine singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ as a child that opened her thank you letter ‘Father of Two’ tugged on the heartstrings of listeners. ‘Anyway, Always’, inspired by a ‘hypothetical’ wine-drunken phone call at 3 am with the-one-who-got-away, opened with the familiar dial tone and voicemail introduction that paints the perfect backdrop for all the words you might like to say.

Her anecdotal and conversational presence brought depth to her performance: whether it be discussing the roots of ‘Selah’ as a psychedelic love song to the moon she performed at her first gig inspired by metal band Tool, or laughing at how every Brummy mentions ‘We have more canals than Venice’ when singing her song ‘Boat on the River’. Her crowd-favourite ‘Letters From a Travelling Man’ draws on the best of country folk. 

If you enjoyed Hozier’s ‘Wildflower and Barley’, or Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Waiting Room’, you will enjoy the music of Katherine Priddy. To avoid missing out on these whimsical, Americana ruminations on life and nostalgia, you can catch her live at festivals across the country this summer. You can listen to her album on all streaming platforms. 

Photographs taken by Rob Hadley, Check out more of his work by clicking here