Katie Herzig brings sophisticated notes to The Borderline
Anyone who has heard Katie Herzig’s latest album, The Waking Sleep, and was slightly underwhelmed by the attempt to combine layered strings with electronic beats, or found the peppiness off-putting, will be pleasantly rewarded if they catch Katie live.
Performing at the tiny (and packed) Borderline venue in Soho, this was one of those intimate gigs that got more intimate as it went on. It was truly basic – just Katie with an acoustic guitar, sometimes joined by the talented and charismatic support act Butterfly Boucher on electric guitar and backing vocals – and what a difference. During some between-song banter, Butterfly quipped that Katie had been worried the audience would get bored without all the layering and additional instrumentation that had gone into the album. No, Katie, you couldn’t be more wrong! The whole gig was captivating in a way that just doesn’t translate on the record: the sound far more rocky and folky, the lyrics somehow reaching more depth as Katie worked freely with the tempos and dynamics and the whole set had a wonderful sense of storytelling.
She showed bare vulnerability during I Hurt Too (from her third album in 2008, and which featured on Bones), delighted the audience with the playful Hey Na Na (commissioned for Sex & the City 2), and Sweeter Than This (from her second album in 2006, and which featured on Grey’s Anatomy) was a real highlight, topped only by my favourite track from the current album, Closest I Get, during which you could hear the proverbial pin drop – a rare occurrence in a packed gig.
Katie is a gifted songwriter and performer with a unique style. She’s the songwriter you’ve not heard of, but wonder who it is when you catch her on a TV show. She pleased the audience by good-naturedly responding to requests and performing a good mix of old and new, and everyone in the room fell in love with her a little bit. Or with each other. It was that kind of gig.
Photos: Adam Imiolo
The Waking Sleep is available now on iTunes and online music stores.