Our local church, St Augustine’s on One Tree Hill, likes music and as a consequence sees more of us than they would otherwise. Last night there was more reason than usual to go, as our friends Mel, Katrina and Laura were playing.
The evening was entitled Songs from the Edge: The edge of what, I didn’t discover.
We kicked off with Katrina Rublowsky singing songs of protest from America, encouraging audience participation (whoopee we’re all going to die) and moving me nearly to tears with Reunion Hill. Another high spot was James Taylor’s Mill Worker, based on Stud Terkel’s oral history project.
Katrina has a lovely light soprano, and a gentle way with her, particularly when talking about her family history and linking it to the songs. Her voice might be better suited to a more intimate setting than the rather cavernous St Augustine’s, where she wouldn’t need a microphone, but she set the hairs up on the back of my neck none the less.
Laura Davis’ set was altogether more dramatic. Laura knows how to work the room, and engages with her material very much at gut level. She has a fantastic voice and sings the Sephardic tradition songs of love and disappointment, birth and death with passion; ably assisted by Andrew Petrie on guitar. They both made it look enviably easy.
Katrina joined Laura to put some harmonies onto a chorus, and their voices melted together most satisfyingly.
After the interval Melanie Harrold took over, chuntering happily at the audience as she fidgeted with an amp lead that didn’t want to play nicely, and introducing her back catalogue, mainly self penned. Melanie has several alter-egos, including recording a record in the 70’s under the name of Joanna Carlin, which is soon to be re-released.
There was more audience participation on one of these songs, My Guru Says No; Mel conducted the audience with her usual vigor.
Mel has plenty of different styles at her finger tips, at one moment wistful, the next stomping through a big number, and frequently sending herself up, particularly in a number which I think is called It’s the way you... which regularly deteriorated into what I call her ‘mud monster’ persona. Very funny.
Melanie was joined by a small selection of Tradewinds folk (Maggie, Maria, Carrie and Trish) to put backing vocals onto her rendition of Gerry Rafferty’s Whatever’s Written on Your Heart, which is a bit of a signature song for Mel.
The evening finished with Mel, Katrina and Laura singing a couple of songs together, notably Love Hurts, which they really went for.
Despite vigorous applause there was no encore… What were you thinking ladies!
Copyright Cherry Potts 2011