On Wednesday, 5 May, at Q The Music Club Live at The Hard Rock Cafe, chanteuse Katie Melua previewed tracks from her fourth album, which features collaborators William Orbit and Robbie Williams's erstwhile songwriter, Guy Chambers. Q Editor Paul Rees gives us a mini-review:
Katie Melua served notice of her transformation from coffee table queen into an edgier artist of hitherto unsuspected depths during her Q The Music Club show at London's Hard Rock Café last night, 5 May. Dressed in black from head to toe and backed by her regular touring band, the petite Melua treated a packed, hushed crowd to a set largely based around her forthcoming fourth album, The House, which was produced by William Orbit.
From its opening track I'd Love To Kill You (dedicated to "all the politicians") to the hushed melodrama of its closing title track (which also rounded off the Music Club set), it's a bold, atmospheric record that runs a gamut from sparse acoustic tracks to gothic blues to the pulsating electro-pop of Twisted, which was co-written with erstwhile Robbie Williams collaborator Guy Chambers.
Chambers was part of the throng in the Hard Rock who stood transfixed from the opening notes of striking new single The Flood to the final haunting moments of The House. Melua had been suffering from a cold, but there were no sign of its effects as she delivered a powerhouse turn on the blues showstopper Cosmic Love.
Earlier tracks like The Closest Thing To Crazy and If I Were A Sailboat, while prettily acoustic, emphasised the chasm between her previous records and The House. The set as a whole highlighted an artist in the throes of one of the more unexpected and pleasing evolutions of recent years.
Opening for Melua, at her request, was young London-based singer-songwriter Alan Pownall. Playing solo acoustic, Pownall sang four folksy songs from his forthcoming debut album True Love Stories and covered The Strokes' Someday. His singing voice is clear and careworn; his speaking one makes James Blunt sound gruff by comparison. He may go far.
Words: Paul Rees
A full review of this gig will appear in Q Magazine Q288, out May 25, 2010.
Photos from the gig will be uploaded shortly...
Our lucky competition winner won the opportunity to review the gig and interview the band. See below to see what they thought:
Katie Melua launched her new album The House at the Hard Rock Café, last night May 5, 2010. Her fans where treated to a night of her amazing music played live in an intimate venue that was host to 200 people. She started the night off with The Flood and also sung some other new songs I’d Love to Kill You and Tiny Alien as well as some of her old favourites such as Nine Million Bicycles and If I where a Sailboat. It was an incredible night; her infectious energy captivated the audience. We were treated to an evening ranging from gentle pure melody to more raunchy numbers; she is a really diverse lady. Rock on Katie!
- Emily Simmons
Fan video interview: