Words & pics by Charlotte Rose
I find myself brimming with a certain amount of ‘Brummie Pride’ when I visit the Symphony Hall. I can’t help but get caught up in the buzz; and that’s without even stepping foot inside the magnificent main hall.
And tonight is no exception, as I arrive there is a vibe of excitement in the air for tonight’s ‘Folk for Free’ event – the young singer/songwriter, Katherine Priddy (although as Justin Bieber is also performing down the road at the NIA, some of the screams may be for him).
The great bit about a free performance is that you can just stumble across it and experience something new, for nothing. And as people trickle into the bar area, grab a drink, and sit down, I notice a diverse mix of ages in tonight’s audience.
Katherine Priddy opens her set, rather bravely, with an original – ‘Indigo’, and straight away catches the attention of the audience; some of whom are now sitting on the floor. At the age of 18, Priddy’s raw talent is obvious.
She continues with covers of John Martyn, Seth Lakeman and a particular favourite of mine, ‘Rosemary Lane’ by Bert Jansch; her pure vocal tone conveys the lyrics of the songs perfectly, and creates a hypnotic ambiance that transports us into the stories.
‘Ring O Roses’ is Katherine Priddy’s second original song of the first set; a song, that by her own admission, she isn’t so confident about the guitar parts. And whilst there are a couple of slip ups, it doesn’t seem to matter to an audience in admiration of her humbleness.
A short 10 minute break and we’re into the second set, with a mixture of original songs (one of which is so new it hasn’t got a name) and covers – a personal highlight being Iron and Wine’s ‘Naked As We Came’.
And whilst I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur of Folk music, and find some of tonight’s set all a little melancholy, my real enjoyment is in Katherine Priddy’s delivery.
Her performance is one of maturity; and whilst not without faults, something that merits further attention.
And attention I’m sure she’ll get. Perhaps not in the teen screams that are sent Beiber’s way, but I do spy one mesmerised fan handing Priddy a hand written note as she finishes her set and packs away.
For more on Katherine Priddy, visit her Soundcloud page https://soundcloud.com/katherine-priddy
Or YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/pridsters?feature=chclk
For more ‘Folk for Free’, and further listings for the Town and Symphony Hall, visit http://www.thsh.co.uk