Katie Melua ushers in the festive season at the Sage Gateshead.
With a beautifully decorated Christmas tree standing proudly front and centre in the midst of the venue’s panoramic windows and projections of snowflakes adorning the foyer’s walls the Sage Gateshead most certainly feels like a winter wonderland this evening.
With just two weeks to Christmas, Katie Melua is currently on a 13 date UK tour in support of her silver-certified 2016 album In Winter. This being a release whereby the multi-award-winning recording artist returned to her homeland of Georgia to record with the members of Gori Women’s Choir. The latter of which also happen to be on the road with Katie this time around.
This evening’s concert, which is split into two halves, is very much a musical celebration of Katie’s career, heritage and of course, the holiday season.
Taking to the stage bedecked in a silky gold dress and armed with her acoustic guitar, Melua kicks off the proceedings with “If You Are So Beautiful”. This astounding solo number, which is sang in her mother tongue, perfectly sets the tone for the night ahead.
As the show moves forward, various members of the band join Katie on stage, including brother Zurab Melua. This being somewhat of a different style of play for the uber-talented guitarist, who also plays with British rock band Toseland.
The first half of the show features back to back classics from Katie Melua’s extensive discography including both “Belfast” and the unmistakable “Nine Million Bicycles”. The versatile singer/songwriter also puts her own unique take on a selection of covers, such as “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure and “River” by Joni Mitchell, which also happens to be the first song of the evening to feature The Gori Women’s Choir.
The heavenly sounds of the fifteen-piece Georgian choir perfectly complement, add texture to and accentuate Katie’s sensational voice. For the next five songs, the artist and the choir come together seamlessly, bringing together the perfect marriage of classical and contemporary music. Throughout the show, you can feel that Katie Melua is not afraid to push her creative boundaries and by doing so is also keeping things interesting for both herself and her audience alike.
The celestial melodies of traditional songs such as “Cradle Song” and Melua’s angelic take on the work of Rachmaninov are enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up. Tonight the acoustically perfect hall one at the Sage Gateshead is filled with the glorious divine sounds of Katie Melua and the Gori Women’s Choir.
Carrying on with the Winter theme, Melua delivers an astonishing cover of what she regards as one of the greatest Christmas carols ever written “O Holy Night” by Adolphe Adam before switching up the proceedings with a solo performance of Shirley Bassey’s Hollywood-tinged number “Diamonds Are Forever”. All night long, Melua makes her vocal performance seem effortless, frequently hitting sustained high notes with ease, whilst simultaneously captivating the Tyneside audience in the process.
During the second half of the show, Melua picks up the pace with the atmospheric rhythms of “The Flood”, before heartfelt love songs such as “The Closest Thing To Crazy” and “Piece By Piece” feature towards the end of the set. With the exception of rapturous applause between songs the crowd are attentive and transfixed to the point where you could almost hear a pin drop in the room throughout Melua’s career spanning 90-minute set.
A three-song encore culminating in a glorious rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” results in a standing ovation from the packed out Sage Gateshead audience.
Tonight’s concert is one of the most unique and magical musical experiences the author has witnessed in almost 30 years of attending live concerts. It is enough to melt the heart of even the biggest Grinch. Even if you don’t feel in the festive spirit beforehand you most certainly will by the end of the show.
Event Date: 11-Dec-2018