Kathryn Williams & Anthony Kerr
Review by Ann Alex from Bebop Spoken Here, 4 December 2016
Kathryn Williams (vocals, guitar); Anthony Kerr (vibes)
Definitely the most unusual, freshest take on the Gasbook that I’ve heard this year, in fact for a long time. The voice was entrancing, sweet, with strong lower tones and the songs were sung with passion and heartfelt emotion.
Ms. Williams is known as a contemporary folk singer and I’d go as far as to say that she brought to the songs a certain folk-like innocence which made this listener feel as if she was hearing the songs for the first time. This was partly achieved because the singer sang in English rather than with American intonation and language, for instance, ‘since my man and I aren’t together’ (not ain’t). The song was definitely the thing in this performance.
All was apparent simplicity, a stripped back performance. The vibes accompaniment was fittingly spare with just a few short solos and the songs were kept short, sometimes with no repeats. The audience gave the performance rapt attention as they soon realised that they may get just one chance to hear the words. A new way to perform these songs, which included, You Don’t Know What Love Is; My Funny Valentine; Every Time We Say Goodbye; I’m A Fool To Want You; Like Someone In Love; The Very Thought Of You; The Man I Love; Sweet Embraceable You; Stormy Weather; Autumn Leaves.
The gig actually began with a short set of the type of songs which I guess Ms. Williams’ audiences are more used to hearing. She accompanied herself on guitar, doing tunes on various subjects such as refugees, rock stars who are no longer with us, and tender love songs with skilled lyrics, such as ‘loneliness was never a part of us’.
Another great night at the Globe.