Katie Malco live review

Posted on 11 October 2011
By Samantha Maine
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Mr Wolfs is a strange one when it comes to live music venues. Being that most of the spectators are there to eat the 2-4-1 noodles and chat amongst themselves with their backs to the stage.

Thankfully for Miss Katie Malco (whom, might I add, finished work at 5.30pm and drove all the way from London to be in the Bristol massive) managed to sway the crowd from themselves and turn their undivided attention towards her.

Taking to the stage at 10:15pm, Katie started off with a solo effort – with a little help from band member San-D Godoy on backing vocals.

‘Build a Home’ captivates a folk-tinged ballad that cuts right to the core, setting the tone for the rest of the evening and ensuring the audience have their fingers on lips and ears to the stage.

Katie is then joined by her other band members, Chris on drums and John on bass. Seeing as it’s the bands second live show as a unit, the nerves are apparent but charming.

Chris’s subtle yet effective sequences add that extra bit of ‘umph’ to Miss Malco’s already sterling songs, whilst the bass manages to create depth to even the quietest of strums.

The highlight of the set is the raucous happenings of ‘Johnny,’ which is scheduled to feature on Katie’s forthcoming EP, ‘Katie Malco & The Slow Parade’ on Alcopop! Records.

The song is based upon the viewpoint of Johnny Cash’s wife during his hey days, commenting on the heartache so truthfully that Katie could be Vivien herself. As she constructs her storytelling with such grace, you can’t help but feel compelled to immerse yourself in the song.

The back-up of each band member is highlighted within this particular song and shows just how far Miss Malco has come since her solo days. It’s tighter, it’s louder and it works.

As the set comes to an end, the eager crowd are desperate for more and Katie is more than happy to do so in the form of a cover of Madonna’s ‘Material Girl.’ John stays true to the original song with undeniably focused harmonies, whilst Katie pays priceless homage to the Queen of Pop.

Katie Malco’s mixture of subtlety, beauty and anger told with a folk inspired backdrop is as refreshing as it is captivating.

Yes, it is folk. Yes, it is pop… and yes, it is a girl with a guitar but not as we know it. Miss Malco is sure to be one to watch for 2012.

Photo by Niki Parr