REVIEW: Katherine Priddy @ Folk for Free, Symphony Hall Café Bar, 28th Feb

Katherine Priddy #1 - SM

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). Katherine Priddy #4 - glass wall - SM

The Moseley Folk Festival organises a series of ‘Folk for Free’ events across the year, taking over the Symphony Hall Café Bar.

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.

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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.Katherine Priddy #3 - SM

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.

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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  

Or YouTube channel

For more ‘Folk for Free’, and further listings for the Town and Symphony Hall, visit