I first saw Laura Kindelan back in July when she was part of the bill supporting Billie Marten at the Basement in York. She was an absolutely delightful and talented performer back then which made me really keen to see her play again. This showcase gig at the beautiful venue that is York’s Centre For Early Music was to promote “Sippin’ Whisky” which is her newest release. Was she as good this time as she was in the summer? You will have to read on to find that out. Zak Ford was tonight’s support act, this young man is a little folky, a little soulful and he has written some excellent songs based on tonight’s evidence. Notably “Honest Man” and “My Body”. My only criticism is that at times his enunciation could have been clearer. But that aside it was a very good set of songs and a heartfelt performance.
Now bearing in mind that Laura is barely 18 she has a talent and an ability that is way beyond her years. Yet she still maintains the enthusiasm and hope that youth brings. Her songs tell stories and evoke some of the best ‘kitchen sink dramas‘. She is a consummate song-smith and wordsmith and she really seems to love her time on stage. listening to Laura’s recordings on CD, Spotify and the like it is easy to hear that she has a precocious, natural talent. But for me she is also one of those relatively great artists whose live shows make the recorded music really come alive. Laura supports her emotionally strong and soulful voice with some relatively sparse guitar accompaniment. Let’s not forget that she is also quite a skilled guitarist.
In my earlier review I likened Laura to the late great Jeff Buckley and I still believe that her approach and style oozes the spirit of Mr Buckley. But then on songs like “The Beginning” she could be channelling Kate Nash. But while these comparisons exist for me that does not take away from the fact that Laura Kindelan has the potential to become a towering talent. Lyrically she clearly shows a mature understanding of life and relationships, perhaps most notably on “Fists”. If pushed I think I would say that “Sweet Tooth” is still my favourite Kindelan classic, but that is facing tough competition from “Colours” and the aforementioned “Sippin’ Whisky”. Her cover of the Billie Holiday standard “Good Morning Heartache” reaches in to the heart of the song and turns it into a more modern electric, but still so sad, blues lament. While I am not saying Laura is the new Billie Holiday she does totally own the song with a stunning arrangement and a very clever use of a loop effect. In my opinion covers should take a step away from the original and this takes a long stride, similar to the strides Jeff Buckley took with covers of “Lilac Wine” and “Hallelujah”. I really hope that Laura makes the right choice and gets the University that she wants, but selfishly I also hope her time as a Uni student doesn’t take her too far from her wonderful music. You really need to check out her music, you will not be disappointed and many of you will join the growing ranks of Laura Kindelan fans!
All videos searched and sourced from YouTube and the photos are courtesy of the Magnificent Marc McGarraghy at Yellow Mustang Photography.