Katie Melua at the Roundhouse
Melua walked on stage to roars of “go on Katie!” from the audience, and opened with crowd favourite Belfast from her first album, Call off the Search. The song put Melua’s astonishing raw talent on show. With a darkened stage and the spotlight shining only on her, Melua sang and played acoustic guitar. Her soulful wails resonating the Roundhouse, making Melua feel even closer to her audience.
The second song saw a totally different side of the artist come out – that of a diva. Still playing guitar, Melua was accompanied by a double bassist, drummer and pianist for a cover of Diamonds Are Forever. Reaching her arms out and tilting her head back, to give out impressive bellows, Melua shone in taking on this role.
The Roundhouse was also treated to what was one of the first live performances of songs from her new album, Ketevan. An arrangement which saw a strange mix of rockier tunes, such as Shiver and Shake to dramatic romantic ballads, such as Sailing Ships from Heaven. The song Idiot School stood out the most, which brought images to mind of a 1920s cabaret show. While standing off-centre stage, Melua sang witty lyrics – “If there was an idiot school, I would have been top of the class” – whilst leaning on a wooden piano, encircled by her band, including an accordion player. It was an unexpectedly chirpy song for the singer.
Elements of Melua’s Georgian past were also numerous throughout the performance. Her latest album’s title comes from her real Georgian first name, Ketevan. As a surprise treat, Melua welcomed a group of male Georgian singers in traditional garb to the stage. She sang in Georgian, as they echoed hymn-like ballads. Dressed in black gowns, with decorated chests and metal swords tied around their waists, the North London venue was instantly given an exotic touch.
Melua finished the concert, much to the delight of the audience, with classic singles Nine Million Bicycles and The Closest Thing to Crazy, which were followed by stamping and a standing ovation in the balconies.
Photos: Krish Nagari
For further information about Katie Melua and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Love Is a Silent Thief here: