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Katy Hurt - 13th Note, Glasgow 15.02.2019

“Practice what you preach” – that’s what they told me when I was in the seminary. Well, I say seminary…it was actually a day trip to a cathedral, and this is just an extending a concept in a vain attempt at a half decent opening, but the point is that a mere nine days after telling you to check out Katy Hurt live if you got the chance, here I am heading downstairs at 13th Note in Glasgow to see Katy headlining with her band. Actually, this is the first time the whole band have played in Scotland, which adds a little extra to the evening.

Having interviewed Katy just after sound check, (You can read that interview here) I make straight for the venue (turn right at the bottom of the stairs….can’t end up in the ladies again!) and take up my position near the bar. 13th Note is a small venue, but it’s a great room, which slowly fills as show time approaches.

The support for tonight comes from Kevin McGuire, who plays a blinding solo set which includes new single “Ghost” and a brilliant cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere”. Kevin also uses this rare solo spot to showcase a new song he’s just finished, currently called “Counting Time” which is achingly beautiful. I bought a copy of his CD at the end of the night and it is awesome…he’s headlining a show on 28th February in Glasgow (at, funnily enough, Headline) and you could do a lot worse than to check him out…I was going to book tickets until the current Mrs. W reminded me that we’re on a stupidly early flight next morning!

There’s a really relaxed atmosphere in here tonight, as Katy and her band mingle with the crowd before the show – there are no barriers between band and audience and it feels somehow different to your normal kind of gig…you feel more a part of it than you would at other shows and it’s a really refreshing feeling.

Then, as the emergency exit sign starts to strobe, Katy, Gab, Ace and Steve take to the stage and launch into “Sunkissed”. Given that this is the first full band show of the tour (this is the 13th show so far), the band are sounding awesome and really tight. There are songs I recognise from last weeks show, but with the full band treatment, it’s like discovering them all over again. “Small Town” is a gem of a song, with the tag that ‘My Small Town’s too small to be a Small Town’, “Fire” is transformed into a gloriously Bluesy number and ends with Katy proving she can hold a note with the best of them, “Revved Up” is as epic as ever and the glorious Natchez, which was written backstage when they opened for Mac McAnally, is pretty close to pure Country. There’s also new (to me) songs in there too – “Sleeping Next To You”, “Past Glories” and “If I Told You” just sound brilliant, as does “Ride Home”. I don’t know what effects Gab was putting his Tele through on this one, but it sounded almost ethereal before they smash into “See Ya Later”. At this point, I need to give a shout to Kay on sound – in small rooms like this, the sound can often be a but iffy but here tonight it’s absolutely spot on.

And then, all too soon, the utterly beautiful “Unfinished Business” leads into “What Have You Got To Lose” and the end of the set. Has it really been over an hour? It feels like only five minutes since the show started…it’s been one of those gigs that just fly by. Then I find myself climbing the stairs back into a warm Glasgow night, heading to the car park and the unenviable task of trying to figure out the unnecessarily complicated thing that is the payment system in Kings Street NCP. So while I await the letter from NCP telling me that I can’t follow complex instructions, let me just tell you that if you love great music you have to check out Katy Hurt…it’ll be one of the best decisions you ever make.

Review - Chris Watson

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