Katie Melua Concert

I’m always worried about seeing my favourite artists give live performances. I suppose that it’s far easier for them to disappoint than to impress, given that I like them already. I’m very happy to say that Katie Melua didn’t disappoint one bit 🙂 Her voice was just as beautiful as on the album, and she came across very well between songs.

The concert was at Kenwood House in Hampstead, which is a stately home with very large gardens, and a very pretty location for a concert. The stage was across a lake from the seating area:

Kenwood House Concert Venue

I think that higher priced tickets would have put us in the roped-off area with deckchairs, but I don’t think there would have been much point. The seating was on a slope so our view wasn’t obstructed at all, and we could spread out on the grass more anyway. Ed and his friend Anthony spotted an excellent spare patch of grass next to a horny middle-aged couple (I suspect they saw little of the concert) at which point we realised we’d come woefully unprepared. Everybody else had blankets, drinks, food…We had, well, some jumpers. Happily (and very cunningly) stalls on the main path were selling said items, along with large picnic hampers if you were feeling profligate. So we grabbed a blanket and something to drink.

I’d been hoping to take some photos with the telephoto lens, so played around figuring out settings for a while. The warm-up act was…umm…I forget. James Lawson, perhaps? He seemed slightly taken aback by the setting, but sang well enough and was quite amusing. Fifteen minutes later Katie came on stage, to loud applause:

Katie Melua in Concert - 1

I think she sang everything from Call Off the Search and quite a few others, most of which were likely from Piece by Piece. Some songs were with the band, others by herself.

Katie Melua in Concert - 9

I particularly liked a song that she described as ‘about things being more complicated than they seem’. She said she’d written it a while back, and it referred to the Iraq war. It wasn’t, however, the standard ‘war is bad’, but a much more thoughtful piece. More along the lines of ‘I hope you understand what you’re doing’, with a chorus speaking of black and white piano keys sounding far more colourful inside your head. I really liked it, anyway.

Katie Melua in Concert - 11

I took a large number of photos, but made sure to listen to the music too! It rapidly got dark, making the telephoto shots much more challenging. I tried my old trick of taking four in rapid succession and hoping one of them would come out sharply. At one point Katie said she’d seen a bat fly across the stage, then turned to a comment from the band and said ‘not Mike Batt, a bat’. It made me laugh, anyway 🙂 (Mike Batt wrote Closest Thing to Crazy, amongst others.)

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She finished with Closest Thing to Crazy, then took a bow and left. A few minutes later, she was back for an encore. When Lynsey and I saw Will Young in June there was no encore, and to be honest I’d forgotten they even happened – this was a nice surprise! She sang four more songs, ending with an Eva Cassidy cover (the name of which I’ve been trying to remember, but it’s fallen out of my head.) She was on stage for an hour and a half in total, I think.

Katie Melua in Concert - 28

As she walked away, fireworks launched from either side of the stage and continued for five minutes or so.

Katie Melua Concert Fireworks - 1

I had an excellent evening – thanks very much to Ed for organising it and inviting me!

Sigh. I’m still ensorcelled.