Posted by: martinworster | October 15, 2016

Catatonia (Cerys Matthews) – Reading Festival (Live Review)


With a female lead as charismatic as Cerys Matthews it’s hard to go wrong. It also helps to have a tasty repertoire of tracks which never fail to cast their magic over a captive crowd. For their second UK gig this summer after Margam Park in South Wales, Catatonia were onto a surefire winner.

Cerys, looking every inch the vixen in a see-through white sequined dress, sailed through a set that was pitched perfectly between gentle ballads and Catatonia’s patented pop-rock. Swigging from a bottle of wine, breathing out the low notes and wrenching her gut on the highs, Cerys oozes personality.

‘I’m spending more time in London. I’m getting used to it.’ Cerys whispers. Cue ‘Londinium’ from their chart topping album ‘Equally Cursed and Blessed’. The fact that Reading is 40 miles west of London goes over Cerys‘ head. Never mind.

‘International Velvet’
also gets an air with its chorus of ‘Every day I wake up I thank the Lord I’m Welsh’- a few people join in and there’s a handful of fluttering Welsh flags. Then it’s a customised version of ‘Dead From The Waist Down’, everyone singing along to ‘Road Rage’, ‘She’s A Millionaire’ and the infectious ‘Mulder and Scully’.

Fortunately, Catatonia were not afraid to move away from just bashing out what you’d hear on their albums. Guitarist Mark Roberts joined in for some of the vocals, new keyboard sounds were added and Cerys ad-libbed more than a few times. The experimentation was welcomed – Catatonia were blistering.

(Originally published on dotmusic)

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