Gig review: Kathryn Williams, Edinburgh

Kathryn Williams. Picture: Contributed
Kathryn Williams. Picture: Contributed
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Kathryn Williams first made a name for herself in 1999 when she produced her debut album on a budget of £80.

The Caves


Since then she has released several more, although, as she told her audience under the cavernous vaults of the Caves: “Nobody buys records anymore.”

Impeccably accompanied by cellist-bass-guitarist Ben Trigg and guitarist-bassist David Page, she drew upon her latest album, Crown Electric, including the ominously-toned title track and her single Heart-Shaped Stone.

Her voice tempers girlish sweetness with world-weariness and she has a penchant for a catchy melody. At times I found her delivery on the bland side, although a delighted audience clearly didn’t (one avid fan joined her on stage to provide a not-half-bad descant to one number). Williams brought more power to bear in Count, the cello taking up the tune nicely, and the edgy Little Black Numbers, which she initially sang a cappella with the help of some real-time vocal sampling.

Also appealing was the Beatle-ish sounding Monday Morning, support act Alex Cornish joined on keyboard for the powerfully melancholic Morning Twilight, while Williams really let rip in the dark and bitter Grey Goes.

Cornish’s opening set was a hard enough act to follow: a wry, amiable presence giving strong delivery to bittersweet songs, switching deftly between guitar and piano, the latter providing a haunting undercurrent for First and Last, while he also utilised live-sampling to accompany himself effectively on both violin and guitar for This is the Point.