Live: Kathryn Williams @ The Zodiac

first_imgReviewers have described Kathryn Williams voice as ‘delicate’ and ‘ethereal’; physically she is much more corporeal. This was just one of the anomalies that crept up in Sunday night’s performance, in which Williams sang mostly songs from her recent album Relations intermeshed with tracks from her last set Old Low Light. Her songs are beautiful, in particular the rendition of ‘Birds’ by Neil Young, with a sense of the real emotion in what she was singing. Perhaps she had a little too much emotion. Williams did seem to be taking herself a little too seriously, understandable given her lyrics. “You put your lip-gloss on, you’re dressed up to the top of your knickers,” etc was a little hard to take. Perhaps it is that Williams occupies such a middle of the road market; her album Relations was Radio Two’s album of the week and her audience comprised mainly of middle aged men and teenage girls. Moreover, the ‘fragility’ of William’s voice translates to weakness in a live set, frequently drowned out by the noise of the instruments. Given that I’m a Kathryn Williams fan, it is surprising that I am so critical, but I felt her set was overwhelmingly disappointing. The songs that on the albums sound so beautiful and poignant, were performed in a manner rendering the sentiment little more than: “I’m so sad, why don’t boys like me?” This is a pity because I’m sure Williams feels that they do mean much more than that. Sunday night’s performance did little to demonstrate Williams’ abilities. If you like her music you’re better off buying one of her albums, the live version isn’t comparable.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2004last_img

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