This was the third time I have seen Laura Kindelan playing live in just over a year and I hope there will be plenty more opportunities to catch this incredibly talented singer, musician and songwriter in the future. Laura is off to Uni in Leeds very soon so this was her last hometown gig before that. It was at the fabulous Forty Five Vinyl Cafe on Micklegate in York. If you have never been there then you really ought to get yourself there soon. This was probably the first time I have ever visited and not bought any vinyl, although I did buy a couple of CDs from one of the excellent support acts. So let me start with those support acts. First it was Lands (a.k.a. George) a staggeringly good vocalist. He makes his voice soar and he has some really good original material, however were he totally smashed it tonight was with an inspired choice of cover songs. Most notably with Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” on which he came pretty damned close to bossing the Boss. But even more so with his version of Radiohead’s “Creep”, covering Thom Yorke is a brave move and one that is often difficult to pull off, but Lands owned the song and poured himself into it. I expect to see much more from him either as Lands or some of his other projects (I will be checking Leodis with which he partners with his buddy Archie soon).
Second on the bill was Nottingham lad (now based in Leeds) Joseph Knight. I had the honour of seeing Joseph sound check for the show and he captivated what at that time was a very small audience. When he took the stage for real he proved what a great talent for songwriting he has, he is quite a tasty performer too. “Have You Seen The Sky Tonight” was performed with sonic beauty, but sadly Joseph told us that up to now he has never find the right way to record the song and probably never will, but a good reason to catch him live though. He explained that “Hold On To Me” had originally been recorded as a duet but obviously he had to play it solo on the night. It is a great song that would grace any pop chart in the world. I am not a fan of manufactured boy bands, but “Hold On To Me” would add class and credibility to a pop act. Maybe Boyzone should sign off with a classic song like this. Joseph played “Nervous” which he explained had been written when he was just fifteen. The song’s sentiment and message about having to love yourself before you will find love must still hang true with all of us. My favourite song from him from tonight’s set was as perfect lyrically as it is possible to get and it is called “Missing Piece”. I can tell you that the words brought a tear to my eyes, especially the line “I didn’t know that I was broken until you fixed me”. Thursday I had never heard or heard of Joseph Knight, Friday I saw and heard him and became a fan!
From the first time that I saw Laura Kindelan play live back in July 2017 I felt that she was in possession of a rare and raw talent that doesn’t come along very often. My opinion on that has only got stronger over time. Indeed Laura’s performance this evening was even better than the previous live sets I have seen her do. She has a wide range of influences and her style of singing and playing covers a wide array of genres; jazz, blues, folk, rock and pretty much everything in between. She was brave enough to do something that not many artists would, she opened her show with an unfinished song, “Take A Little Time”. Well it sounds pretty damned spot on right now so what the hell will it evolve into when she finishes it? When introducing “Spiders” Laura described it as the most intense song that she has ever written and listening to the acerbic lyrical flow it would be hard to disagree with that assertion. She is working on a cello based version of the song which I believe could sound truly epic!
The first time that I ever heard the jazz standard “Good Morning Heartache” was in 1972 via Diana Ross’ version. That cover paled into insipid insignificance when I eventually heard Billie Holiday’s 1946 recording of the song. Some people say that certain songs are untouchable sacred cows but I don’t agree and I am pleased to say that neither does Laura in this case. Laura makes fine use of her looping talents to give us an eerie, ethereal and moderately menacing arrangement and take on the song. It makes mincemeat of most of the other recorded cover versions of this song. Laura makes it sound sonically like something from a parallel universe. If David Lynch revives Twin Peaks again then he has to feature Laura Kindelan’s version of “Good Morning Heartache” in at least one episode. Laura’s younger brother Euan joined her on the drums for the last few songs of the set and he proved that he is a skilled and very understated sticksman with massive potential for the future. “Take Your Time” was developed from a drum pattern that Euan created. I have previously compared Laura Kindelan to Jeff Buckley. I was among the lucky few to witness Buckley’s towering but way too short set some twenty-four years ago at the Reading Festival in 1994. I would love to hear Ms. Kindelan cover a Jeff Buckley song one day. I reckon she could definitely add her personal stamp to “Lover You Should’ve Come Over”. Laura’s songs sound far more mature than her years. She is a musician that seems to want to never stop learning and developing her craft and that will keep her continually fresh ahead of the curve musically. Most of you have no doubt heard the apocryphal tales of the great old bluesmen ‘selling their souls at the crossroads’ to be gifted with supreme talent by the devil. Has Laura Kindelan sold her soul at the crossroads? No of course not, this woman does not need to, she has pure, latent, natural talent in abundance!
Public Service Announcement: all photos are from my cheap android phone from China. Videos are all found on YouTube. If you wish to be credited for any of the videos or would like them taken down please let me know. N.B. Fawn were replaced by Lands on the bill.