Last night, my partner and I got a bus into Birmingham city centre to see Kate Rusby at the Town Hall. We have been fans of Kate Rusby for a little while now and jumped at the chance of being able to see her perform live. I was especially enamoured with the idea of seeing her when I saw that she was to be putting on a Christmas themed concert.
We knew though, that with Kate, it wouldn’t simply be Christmas carols as we probably knew them and we were right. She sang a selection of traditional carols she grew up with in South Yorkshire.
Kate was accompanied by her partner, Damien O’ Kane on guitar and banjo, along with another guitarist, a double bassist and a brass quintet. The stage was black, save for a sparkly Christmas tree adorned with Santa hats. The atmosphere was really merry and relaxed and that was mainly due to Kate’s incredibly infectious personality and brilliant camaraderie with her band of boys.
What I have always loved about Kate Rusby’s songs, is that she never tries to hide her native Yorkshire accent. I’m a Midlands girl, born in Nottingham and have always felt more of an affinity to the north and I just love the Yorkshire accent.
Kate was so down to earth and funny and she really engaged with the audience. There were no pretensions, it felt like being in a pub rather than a concert hall and Kate herself made us all laugh when she said at one point “it’s like being a proper singer, in’t it?”
….and of course there was her singing voice. She has such a beautiful, clear and melodious voice and she sang so well last night. It was wonderful to be in the same room as that voice.
At one point, I was actually in tears as she sang My Young Man. A song she wrote in tribute to her grandma. It was incredibly moving and I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.
She also sang one of my favourite songs, Underneath The Stars. I love the wonderful guitar in this song, and the brass quintet really shone too, but nothing can take away from Kate’s beautiful, achingly sweet voice in this song.
I’m keeping an eye on her website for future concerts, because while we loved the Christmas theme to this concert, I think we’d love even more to hear her perform some more songs from her various albums.
It was a wonderful concert last night and really helped get into the Christmas spirit.
Mind you, the garlic bread and frankfurter sausages courtesy of the German Christmas Market also assisted with that!
***photos taken from official Kate Rusby website***