Live : Katey Brooks17.06.17 : 3rd Space, Llandudno
Katey Brooks played two sets to a packed 3rd Space, accompanied by a superb three piece backing band - adding drums, bass and keyboard to her guitar and voice.
She opened both sets on stage alone, the band waiting in the wings behind a thick black curtain, and that is how her music has been often best presented in the past; Katey spare and seemingly fragile on a stage, singing deeply emotional songs with a voice that has huge and raw depth to it. The contrast was striking - solo the minimal arrangements of the songs were sculptural and precise - once they stepped out the additional musicians offered a fluid frame for her vocals, allowing her to open up even more.
An established singer songwriter, she ranged across her already substantial back catalogue with some notable standouts - a soaring Call Out closed the first set, her reggae inflected, jaunty version of Dylan's I Shall Be Released a triumph as a cover - but even so it was the dynamic newer compositions, from forthcoming album We the People, that had the most profound impact.
Time Out have simply stated she is "Not to be missed" live; what you get if you don't pass on the opportunity is aching songs of love and loss that can only have been written for catharsis - there's too much real blues and soul in her voice for it to be otherwise; music that offers stunning and complete emotional engagement.
This performance confirmed what anyone who has seen Katey Brooks play in an intimate venue will already know; she has a special magic from the far side of extraordinary.
Katey Brooks will appear at the Gorjys Secrets Festival in the Conwy valley on 16th September 2017
KATEY BROOKS I Call Out