Category Archives: Gigs

Last Christmas – Talk In Colour live at the Waterline

Here’s a Christmas treat for you – Me and Mary from Talk In Colour playing a rather lovely version of Wham’s Last Christmas, recorded live at the wonderful Waterline in Dalston.

This was part of our Acoustic Christmas Wonderland, featuring the frankly amazing Sam Sallon and the equally awesome Al Lewis. It was just perfect – mulled wine, mince pies and gorgeous music. we’re starting a bimonthly acoustic residency at the Waterline from 27th February – be there.

Daylight Music – Talk In Colour at the Union Chapel

Daylight Music 31st MarchLast Saturday I was back at the Union Chapel for the second time in little over a month (after the recent Sunday Driver gig) for Daylight Music. This time I was playing with Talk In Colour, taking our electronic soundscapes and dirty basslines out to play in the Chapel’s glorious acoustics.

Things didn’t start off well, with a couple of unexpected hitches meaning that our soundcheck ran late, holding everyone up and making the whole gig run behind schedule. We can only apologise profusely to everyone and promise not to do it again.

Anyway, proceedings kicked off with Rome Pays Off – a trio with the rather unusual lineup of two bassists and one guitar. Probably best described as “drone-core”, their lush soundscapes echoed round the church and sent a shiver up my spine.

Rome Pays Off

Next up were the fantastic Wilderthorn, whose set of not-folky-at-all-despite-what-you-might-expect acoustic songs was a great treat. I even forked out a fiver for their new EP, which is always the sign of a good gig.


And then in was Talk In Colour’s turn. There’s loads of amazing photos from Diana Jarvis over on the Daylight Music Facebook page – here are a couple of my faves (yeah, they’re of me. It’s my damn blog…):

Kat Mary Talk In Colour

Kat Talk In Colour

This is my counting face!

Kat Talk In Colour

We were also very brave and played two new tracks – Intra, a short introduction from our upcoming album, and our first ever cover, Petit Pays by Cesaria Evora. Ricky took a video of us playing it, and I reckon we did it justice…

Finally, three cheers from my fabulous new frock from Lady Vintage – how awesome is this? And only 50 quid!

Lady Vintage Poppy dress

Talk in Colour play upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s

On Thursday Talk In Colour played an absolute blinder of a gig, which I’m still buzzing from, in the hallowed hall of Ronnie’s Bar upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s historic jazz club.

Ronnie Scott's Bill

When we found out about the gig, thanks to Bence and Andrew at Bolygo Music, I thought our drummer Dave was going to have some kind of jazzgasm.

Ronnie Scott's

Mary despairs at the soundcheck:

Mary at Ronnie Scott's

While Dave’s just happy to be there:

Dave at Ronnie Scott's

Support came first from the incredible Corina Piatti – a fantastic Argentinian singer/guitarist:

Corina Piatti at Ronnie Scott's

Next was multi-talented percussionist Renu and her band of impressive instrumentalists and singers. She’s a wonderful musician who I’ve previously collaborated with, and I can’t wait to here her new album, which I played on. Huge thanks are due to her guitarist Jo for the loan of her amp, which got us out of a big logistical hole:

Renu at Ronnie Scott's

We finally got on stage, and played our socks off – mainly thanks to the awesome sound engineer who managed to contrive things so we could actually all hear each other on stage for once. I had such a good time, and the crowd was brilliant. Massive thanks to everyone who came down and everyone involved – such a great night 🙂

Our next gig is at the Union Chapel in Islington for Daylight Music at 12pm on Saturday 31st March. Can’t wait!

Talk In Colour play Simon Says at the Jazz Cafe

I can’t believe how fast this month is running away with me. It doesn’t seem a minute since Talk In Colour played at the Jazz Cafe for WahWah45s amazing Simon Says night – raising money in memory of label founder Simon Goss for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation – but it was back at the beginning of March. If anyone knows where the past 3 months went, please let me know.

It was such a great night packed with loads of fantastic bands and lovely people. Here’s the running order – it was absolutely rammed!
Simon Says 2012

We had what was probably the most stressful soundcheck I’ve ever had. Thanks to Camden Council’s lovely roadworks I couldn’t unload outside the venue, then I couldn’t find anywhere remotely close to park and had to push the harp for what felt like miles, Chris was running late and got a flat tyre as he was parking, and Mary and Nick couldn’t make it due to work commitments.

Talk In Colour Jazz Cafe

Still, we played well (despite understandably dubious sound at first) and people seemed to like it:

Talk In Colour Jazz cafe

The lovely Gideon Conn, one of the other acts, drew a sweet little picture of us playing which he auctioned in aid of the cause:

Gideon Conn Talk In Colour

All in all, a great night that raised thousands of pounds for a fantastic cause. Well done to Dom and all the WahWah team, and thanks for having us down 🙂

More Sunday Driver gigs – Cambridge Folk Club and the Union Chapel

Cambridge Folk ClubSunday Driver rounded off our half-term mini-tour with a couple of great but rather downbeat gigs. On Friday night we supported solo guitarist Clive Carroll at Cambridge Folk Club, which now takes place in a small room above the Golden Hind pub in Cambridge.

Even replacing Scott’s drumkit with djembe and cajon, we were pretty loud but the audience seemed to like it. Unfortunately I only managed to catch a few minutes of Clive’s set as I had to dash back to London to tend to a puking husband.

Sunday Driver Cambridge Folk Club

Sunday Driver Cambridge Folk Club 2

Then on Saturday we were up and at it again, playing a lunchtime gig for the Arctic Circle’s Daylight Music series at the Union Chapel in Islington. It’s such a fantastic venue to play, and it didn’t disappoint.

Daylight Music 18/2/12

We were preceded by the fantastic Anja McCloskey and her band (and her 50lb accordion):

Anja McCloskey

And melodic piano/cello duo My Glass World:

My Glass World

No pics of our gig as I forgot to give anyone the camera, but we had a great time. In retrospect, we probably should have played more upbeat songs – we were a bit worried about coming across as too boisterous in the relatively sedate atmosphere but I wish we’d rocked out a bit more!

Anyway, it was a great way to round off a successful week of gigs. There’ll be some very exciting Sunday Driver news coming up this week so watch this space!

Sunday Driver at the High Barn

Next stop for the Sunday Driver juggernaut was the High Barn in Great Bardfield, a venue in a tiny Essex village that has somehow managed to carve out a name as a great place for acoustic music (and also Four Poofs and a Piano, who were on the week before). We were treated to a beautiful sunset and an amazing starry night:

Sunset over Great Bardfield

We were supported by a couple of lovely singer-songwriters, who not only played great sets but were super-friendly backstage – firstly Ellie Jamison:

Ellie Jamison

And then Jon Hart:

Jon Hart

Scott and Amit go through their strenuous pre-gig warmup routine:

Scott and Amit asleep

We played. It was fun:

Sunday Driver at High Barn 2

And then I went off to stay in the luxurious-sounding “Stansted Skyline Hotel”, which turned out to be little more than a few rooms off a restaurant on the road out of Great Dunmow, reeking of cigarette smoke and suffering from very poorly-fitted curtains. The harp was not impressed. I reminded her sternly that if she wants to stay in better hotels, we need to get some better-paying gigs…

Stansted hotel

The bathroom facilities also left much to be desired. Here’s the shower – can you spot what’s missing?

Luxury shower facilities

Ah, the glamorous life of a musician… Next stop, Cambridge Folk Club.

Sunday Driver at Norwich Arts Centre with Mary Hampton Cotillion

Norwich Arts CentreAfter our photoshoot, Sunday Driver headed off for another gig at Norwich Arts Centre, following our successful show there last year supporting Raghu Dixit. This time we were on a bill with the Ruth Gordon Trio and the Mary Hampton Cotillion.

First up were Ruth Gordon and the rest of her Trio, composed of banjo, cello and guitar. They played a lovely gentle set, and I liked her use of bells and shells on her ankles as percussion.

Ruth Gordon Trio

We were on next. No photos of that, as I forgot to ask anyone to take them. We were a bit loud compared to the other acts, but went down well I think.

Finally Mary Hampton and her Cotillion (apparently a type of dance figure) took to the stage. Their set was amazing – probably the best gig I’ve seen for ages. Elegant, creepy, dissonant, beautiful and utterly enchanting. I bought both her albums after the gig, and I hardly *ever* do that (cos I’m really stingy). Go and see them if you get the chance, they are fantastic.

Sorry for the blurry picture, – I was right at the back – but I was really taken by this song, Honey in the Rock, where the percussion was provided by two of the musicians playing pat-a-cake.  It may sound a bit twee but it really wasn’t.

Mary Hampton Cotillion

A wonderful night, topped off by staying over in Norwich with my fab friends Ruth and Russ. You know who your real friends are – they’re the ones who leave a hot water bottle in your bed on a chilly night…

Talk In Colour at Richmix – Soundbites Live

Soundbites at RichmixI’m finally getting through the backlog of blog posts, so I thought I’d jot down some blether about a recent project that Talk In Colour got involved with.

Soundbites is a collaborative arts project that puts upcoming bands (that’s us!) together with upcoming playwrights (in our case the excellent Alice Birch) to create new theatre pieces mixing together music and drama, culminating in a one-off live performance.

Before Christmas, we sent over two tracks from our upcoming album – Nightshifts and Rocking Horse – and Alice got to work writing a short play inspired by them.  Then the week before the performance (aaargh!) we got together with director Mel Hillyard and actors Stephen Fewell and Laura Martin-Simpson to turn it into reality. Although we were under a lot of time pressure, the process was fascinating and fun, and it was a privilege to see the work take shape over our limited rehearsal time.

Rehearsing for soundbites

L-R - Director Mel, Steven, Laura

rehearsing for soundbites 2

Thinking faces

We performed the piece, Little Find, at the Soundbites night at Richmix on 28th January to a pleasingly sold-out house. Also on the bill were short plays by Tom Morton Smith (with singer Abdul Shyllon) and Rachel De-lahay (with band Your Girl Likes Us). I may be biased, but I definitely think ours was the best one 🙂

Soundbites - Rachel Delahay

A scene from Rachel De-lahey's play

After the performances, the venue switched over from a theatre to a gig and each band did a short live set. Ours went stormingly well, including mine and Mary’s  now-traditional dance moves in Radiophonic Freakout, captured forever on film:

Tinge took some great pics of our gig – here are a couple:

Talk in Colour - Richmix 1

Talk In Colour - Richmix 2

More pics up on Facebook here.

Huge thanks to the Soundbites cast and crew, and to Ginny from Beat Unique for getting us involved.

Love Music, Hate Racism – Sunday Driver at the Portland Arms

Love Music Hate Racism posterSunday Driver have been taking a few months off gigging while we get everything rolling for our upcoming album release, so it was good to be back on stage for a benefit gig for Love Music, Hate Racism (or Love Music, Hate Musicians as I kept accidentally calling it) at the Portland Arms in Cambridge on Saturday.

This was the first gig in a mini-tour we’re doing of the Eastern Isles this week – Tuesday 14th February at Norwich Arts Centre; Thursday 16th February at the High Barn in Gt Bardfield, Essex; Friday 17th February at Cambridge Folk Club @ the Golden Hind; and Saturday 18th february at the Union Chapel in Islington as part of the fabulous Daylight Music series of free lunchtime concerts. More details and ticket links over on our spangly new website.

The break clearly hadn’t done us much harm in terms of turning in a rip-roaring performance, and we had a great crowd – including some Steampunks who’d come all the way from Northampton to see us! I was also rocking a new hairdo, involving about 20 hairpins and half a can of Elnett, as well as a stinking cold.


In my usual rock and roll fashion, a combination of feeling grotty, wanting some space, needing to be in Cambridge the next day, and having a shedload of work to do meant I ended up spending the rest of the evening on my own in a deserted Little Chef on the A14 before tumbling snottily into bed in the Travelodge next door. Wooo.

Deserted Little Chef

Still Life With Laptop. Most rock and roll Saturday night ever...

Tru Thoughts birthday party at KOKO – featuring Belleruche and more

Last weekend I headed off to Brighton Record label Tru Thoughts’ 12th birthday party at KOKO in my role as one of Belleruche‘s official groupies. It was a fantastic night full of great music, good friends and wine gums on the rider.

Here’s a pic of Ricky Fabulous in front of a poster for the night just down the road from our house. Stuff like this amuses the hell out of us:

Belleruche poster

We went for *amazing* tapas at El Parador, just by Mornington Crescent tube station. I’m almost loathe to tell you about if, because it was sooo good and we’ll never be able to get a booking again if everyone starts going there.

Belleruche tapas

First up on the bill was Anchorsong and the lovely ladies of his string quartet. I loved his set at the Queen of Hoxton when the Shadow Orchestra supported him, and I loved it at KOKO too.

Anchorsong at KOKO

I missed Nostalgia 77 because I was too busy stealing the wine gums upstairs in the dressing room, but of course I was right down the front for Belleruche’s set. They played four new songs in their relatively short set, including another outing for Kathrin on the bass. She looked so cool!

Belleruche at KOKO 3

Ricky in full rock god mode:

Belleruche at KOKO 2

I watched about half of the Hidden Orchestra’s lush electronic set. I was really impressed with the cellist they brought along – didn’t catch her name though:

Hidden Orchestra at KOKO

All in all a triumph! Thanks to Tru Thoughts and the Soundcrash team for a great night.