It’s always a good idea to break up the monotony of a working week with a musical distraction, this evening’s concert is at The Sage.  Performing on the BBC Radio 6 live lounge the night before Scottish folk (indie folk) singer and pianist Kathryn Joseph is centre stage tonight.

The performance is held in the pod like Sage Two, this is a fantastic venue as it is intimate and acoustically spot-on. For a change, the area is seated, with great views of the stage.

Supporting Kathryn Joseph is electronic sound artist SHHE aka Sue Shaw and also Panda Su. Personally, I am a huge fan of SHHE, having the track “Eyes Shut” on heavy rotation on my weekly radio show.  SHHE is Dundee based musician Sue Shaw who, last year took part in an Icelandic Residency encouraging her to return to music and create in isolation.  SHHE sees more of a sonic art platform with minimal style with fantastic layers similar to those of Liz Harris in Grouper. 

Stand out tracks were the new release “Boy” with wistful echoes and primal drum beating providing sparse windblown lyrics that create an intimacy.  “Eyes Shut” which played live grew into a slightly differnt track, still immense.

SHHE also speaks incredibly highly of Kathryn Joseph, the love between both artists was a joy both dedicating songs to one another and friends in the room, it made want to be part of their gang. 

Kathryn Joesph enters the stage like a shadow from the doors to rear of the stage. She is attired all in white which creates a halo-like glow as she sits at the Roads Piano. One thing that strikes me about Kathryn Joseph is the honesty in the lyrics, real bone bare and truthful, not in a vulgar sense but in a way of what real life timelines can be.  Her soft Scottish accent is either preceded or followed with a warm smile between tracks.  While playing, her voice and expressions almost transform into a pagan type high priestess conjuring magic behind the piano while looking directly into you sitting  90 degrees to the audience, positioned side saddle like on a stool her arms stretch out as she places her fingers upon the keys of her piano.

I can only say her sublime talent comes at you, with her voice finishing with a sound of a song thrush beautifully warbling overhead. She plays a set that is made up of the two album releases –  “Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled” won the 2015  Scottish Album of the Year Award, and the latest album “From When I Wake The Want Is”.

Each track performed tells a brutal honesty of every conceivable element of being in a relationship or winning back a lover.  Midway through the evening,  I had found my self almost hypnotic in my state of being,  Kathryn beguiles you with a witch’s spell with her poetic lyrics laced with profanities that you would never notice with the sweet harmony to mention the track “And It Will Lick You Clean” and “We Have Been Loved By Our Mothers” it is very hard to draw up a comparison to who or what she is? Kathryn Joseph is musical art in an occult folk style, with vast complexity in weaved layers and textures, the mediums she uses are gently brushed one minute then slashed the next.

Stand out tracks of the evening I personally loved were “Safe” and “”Mouths Full of Blood”.

I can only suggest that if you get the chance to see Kathryn Joseph you take it!

Reviewer – Carmichael – THE SLABCITY SHOW

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