Reviewers have described Kathryn Williams voice as
‘delicate’ and ‘ethereal’; physically she is
much more corporeal. This was just one of the anomalies that
crept up in Sunday night’s performance, in which Williams
sang mostly songs from her recent album Relations intermeshed
with tracks from her last set Old Low Light. Her songs are
beautiful, in particular the rendition of ‘Birds’ by
Neil Young, with a sense of the real emotion in what she was
singing. Perhaps she had a little too much emotion. Williams did seem
to be taking herself a little too seriously, understandable given
her lyrics. “You put your lip-gloss on, you’re dressed
up to the top of your knickers,” etc was a little hard to
take. Perhaps it is that Williams occupies such a middle of the
road market; her album Relations was Radio Two’s album of
the week and her audience comprised mainly of middle aged men and
teenage girls. Moreover, the ‘fragility’ of
William’s voice translates to weakness in a live set,
frequently drowned out by the noise of the instruments. Given that I’m a Kathryn Williams fan, it is surprising
that I am so critical, but I felt her set was overwhelmingly
disappointing. The songs that on the albums sound so beautiful
and poignant, were performed in a manner rendering the sentiment
little more than: “I’m so sad, why don’t boys like
me?” This is a pity because I’m sure Williams feels
that they do mean much more than that. Sunday night’s
performance did little to demonstrate Williams’ abilities.
If you like her music you’re better off buying one of her
albums, the live version isn’t comparable.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2004