I can only describe my experience as an absolute dream, as I had the opportunity to see Katie Melua grace the stage of the Royal Concert Hall last Monday. With the best seats in the house (a few feet away from the stage right in the centre of the crowd), I was able to feel fully immersed in the warm atmosphere that her poetic lyrics and melodic day dream like music style provided. Singing with the voice of an angel, I was in awe of her performance from start to finish.
The room started to fill up as fans trickled in from the bar ready to watch the supporting act, Keeva, take to the stage. The audience was given the perfect chance to relax as we listened to her bewitching vocals, her deep crystal clear voice touching a chord in all of us. I felt soothed by her and well set up for what would be an overall evening of equally mellow delights.
It was not long after Keeva’s exit that Katie entered to the sound of an enthusiastic applause from the audience: it was clear everyone was eager to see her return. Standing centre stage in a gold dress with her guitar, the night started off with a song she sang in her own language; her Georgian roots made a clear appearance. Her voice was quietly uplifting, each song just as enchanting as the last.
The acoustics of the Gori Women’s Choir added an instrumental element to the scene, what Katie describes as a ‘completely unique vocal orchestra’. Their voices were in perfect unison and harmony with Katie’s and this created a comforting sense community onstage. It was a joy to witness them sing new material from her upcoming album as well as to feel the nostalgia listening to her much loved singles “Nine Million Bicycles” and “The Closest thing to Crazy” (my personal and the audience’s favourite).
The performance backdrop featuring whales diving amongst seaweed; a lone wolf wandering through a moonlit landscape; and a reindeer in a snowstorm as she sung a classic rendition of the festive hymn “O Holy Night” reinforced the calm serenity of the evening. Everything she sang connoted the beautiful sound of a birdsong.
I was truly lost in a magical haze of colour (the change of lighting per song adding to the peaceful atmosphere) and admiration for the 34 year old. This was because she sounded exactly as she did on her albums all those years ago when she was only 19; her deep, rich and soulful voice was impressively untainted.
Overall, the night had an ethereal otherworldly vibe to it. I left feeling as though all of our troubles had collectively been left at the entrance. I can only compare the evening to be the emotional equivalent of a massage. A captivating performance and a balm to the soul. Faultless.