Katey Brooks is a singer-songwriter from Bristol, UK. Playing the second of two gigs coinciding with the release of her latest single Never Gonna Let Her Go, Katey mixes folk, soul, blues and country into beautifully crafted songs which showcase her great voice. Whilst her songs cannot be described as happy, they encapsulate the raw emotion of their writer and produce an end result that is definitely worth taking the time to listen to.
Taking to the stage at the Landmark Art Centre with her black Ibanez electric guitar, Katey started her set with a few songs playing alone. Beginning with Trouble So Hard, followed by her latest single, which had been released the day before, Never Gonna Let Her Go, Katey played to a captivated audience, the sound of her voice and guitar made all the more impressive by the acoustics of the converted church.
Katey played another song, I Fought Lovers, solo before being joined by her keyboard player for the evening, Paul Quinn (who also doubles as her sound and mix engineer on her more recent recordings). After playing State of Mine, which was also on her 2014 recording, I Fought Lovers, Paul was replaced on stage by Fraser Anderson, who joined her to provide harmonies on We Call It Home. Their voices blended well together.
As the gig continued, she was once again joined by Paul for Let It All Go and Call Out, before playing the first angry song she had written, Golden Gun, solo with her electric guitar.
In what has become a staple of a Katey Brooks gigs, she took a seat in the middle of the audience – this time in the middle of the aisle – with her acoustic guitar and played what she describes as her country song, The Sweetest Things. I have seen her perform this song at other venues, but nothing compared to hearing her sing it in the middle of a church. The acoustics were perfect, and the audience listened, rapt.
She returned to the stage and her electric guitar, to play her 2017 single Will She. This was followed by one of my highlights of the evening, her previous single In Your Arms. Joining her on stage were Paul and Fraser, along with Rebecca Baxter, and Rosina Buck and Bronte Shande who together are the duo Circe’s Diner, providing the most beautiful harmonies.
Jeremiah and Burn It Down ended the set.
The second highlight of the evening for me was the encore. Katey had recorded We’ll Meet Again, the Vera Lynn classic, at the request of someone who was ill, and I had heard it online, but it does not compare to hearing her sing it live.
Katey Brooks’ latest single, Never Gonna Let Her Go is currently available on Spotify and iTunes and her new album due out this spring.
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