Food for the soul

I work with some of the most fascinating people. Some are technically gifted and work some amazing magic for our clients. Some have a deep kindness to others which helps to keep us on track, some have a terrible sense of humour which almost makes them funny and some have quite different hobby’s including Hedge laying(!)

But one of the best things about the group of people I work with, is the people I’ve met thanks to them, both professionally and personally.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the first performance of a new show by Kate Dimbleby. I work with Kate’s husband and thanks to him, I had heard a few of her songs which had been pre-released ahead of her new album and I was hooked.

She has received rave reviews from many sources and I couldn’t resist heading to Bath to watch her perform at the Ustinov Studio. The thing that really intrigued me about Kate was the way in which she put her songs together. I knew from what I had heard that she had a beautifully strong, soulful voice, but it was the use of the ‘looper‘ which really pulled me in.

It was my first trip to Bath in a number of years and my first ever time attending the Ustinov. It’s a small intimate venue, with the technical crew (of which there were only a couple) in a booth at the back of the stalls and a small stage, which for Kate’s show, had been setup to consist of just projector screen, two tables (with a few items on them), a chair and a dress.

We had originally booked for our tickets to be upstairs in the circle, however when we arrived, the gentleman on the door said that we were welcome to sit near the wall on Row G in the stalls. We accepted this offer and took our position before reading through a sheet of A4 which introduced us to Kate and the team she has supporting her.

I’m not sure what I was expecting of the show. I knew I was going to be hearing a beautiful voice and I knew that I would hear some powerful lyrics however what I witnessed was much more than that.

Kate was to take us on her journey. A cliche you may think and I admit, I wasn’t sold on the idea of listening to how someone arrived where they are today (and I don’t mean Bath)! But I went along with an open mind.

From her days growing up in London, her move to Bristol and time spent in Canada, she captivated the audience with each word. She was so engaging, I found it hard to take my eyes off her as her performance dragged us in.

From the energetic leaping around the stage to her pensive gaze at the old Radio when reminiscing about her Grandfather, I found myself feeling emotionally involved in her story. When she leaned against the side of the studio toward the end of her performance the projector displayed some images on the back of the set. I can’t tell you what they were. I was too taken by the emotion in her face. Her gentle gaze across the set, the slow flutter of her eye lids as she recalled something from her memory… she had me hooked.

The performance alone was absolutely captivating. But achieving that while operating the looper, playing some music in and building the ‘backing vocals’ live, to then perform the lead vocals… was nothing short of brilliant. Yes, there were a couple of technical hiccups, but she wove them in to the show and unlike other performances where I have started to feel uneasy on the performers behalf, I felt very relaxed and just knew that she had it all under control.

One of the best things was the engagement she had with the audience. It never felt like a performer/audience relationship. It felt like a friend up there chatting away and entertaining us all.

I was lucky enough to be able to say congratulations to her after the performance and even managed a brief ‘geek’ moment with the looper. Safe to say I am not keen on getting in to that myself, I’m nervous enough about the solo operation of my PA for my little gig on Monday!

All in all, if you get a chance, please go and see one of her shows and/or purchase her CD!

Check out Kate’s Website