Kathryn Joseph | Shhe – 26th February 2019 – Gateshead Sage
Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)
“I’m still at the stage in my head where I can’t believe anyone would pay to listen to this shit!” Well, Kathryn Joseph believe it as being there to listen and watch her night at the Sage was one of the most beautiful things to witness, even with a lot of expletives! Saying that, the amount of times ‘fuck’ did come up actually made not only the performance more real but also made Joseph more real too, as there are many times you can put those whose music you admire on a pedestal and many times they ‘go to script.’ With Kathryn Joseph it really was what you see is what you get and it was, not sure if ‘adorable’ is the right word but I am going with it!
Before Joseph’s set we are welcomed by SHHE. I finally managed to search for her on the world wide web a few hours before the show and there was only one song I could find. Eyes Shut literally stopped me in my tracks and made me more excited of the night ahead and she did not disappoint. SHHE is very minimalistic but very powerful in the sense that I was pretty breathless watching her. So dreamy it was captivating that it sure silenced us all.
As soon as Joseph steps onto stage it feels like an open dialogue, or maybe monologue, as the audience are still and silent throughout most of the show, though she has us laughing through most of the night to the commentary she has to most of the songs. There are some sad moments too and to have the audience let it all be about Joseph was perfect.
We are given, I believe the whole of her new album, From When I Wake The Want Is, in its entirety and there are a few dedications to audience members, namely the musician Kathryn Williams who is there this night, is the song And You Survived. Not related to the song, but we are told a hilarious story of a Twitter live feed from Williams being an overnight guest at Josephs’ or was it more of a kidnapping! A dedication also goes to her support SHHE with Mountain where she says that although it’s been great having her on the tour it is also a regret as every night she has to follow her beautiful set. There is a wonderful feeling of gratitude from Joseph to these artists and what I noticed during SHHE’s set was that Joseph was there for its entirety. SHHE echoed this and was there throughout the whole of Josephs set.
Gratitude is what Joseph has. Two songs we are given this night, There Is No God But You and The Weary from her 2015 album, Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled, could set you on the edge of tears for the subject matter of people going through battles of illness and loss and being worse off than yourself. The way she performs them, in fact the way she performed the whole evening was like you were in a room listening to her sing only to you. To watch her, to listen to her and to be at a live show of Kathryn Joseph is a pretty special experience. These words I write will never do it justice. It’s just a brief summary.
It was a night of joy, sadness, laughs, engagement and a huge shout out to her single Weight being at number 8 in the official singles chart. Joseph has been around a for a while, she came to my attention through ‘new artists’ coming onto the scene posting admiringly social media posts and I am so glad this happened as I do not think I could experience another night like this, unless it is another night with Kathryn Joseph. In my own selfish way though, although the night in terms of lights and set were simple and perfect, a bit of smoke could have added to the ambience (and photographs) and lost me to the night completely. Saying that, Joseph had my emotions from the second she stepped onto the stage to the moment she left.
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