Cat Clyde Gets Mystic At The Old Church Stoke Newington

This show was a rare chance to go and see a concert in London’s only remaining Elizabethan church rebuilt in 1563 on the site of a derelict church and further re-built in the 1940’s after the original church was bombed in The Blitz. The church is extremely atmospheric and the Parish’s part in the abolition of slavery means the churchyard contains the remains of several members of William Wilberforce’s family as well as the poet Anna Barbauld.

Cat Clyde @ Koko

Cat Clyde @ Koko (Kalpesh Patel)
Cat Clyde @ Koko (Kalpesh Patel)

This show was part of Cat Clyde’s current tour to promote her most recent album Down Rounder support came from Liana Flores who performed seated playing her acoustic guitar that went from Spanish classical through to Bossa Nova, as she took us all downstream there was something very organic about her playing style. As she took in the magnificence of her surroundings Liana told us she was going to play a Bossa Nova that was beautifully picked, as her vocals increased in volume, the resonance of the churches acoustics really helped her sound.

The new song Silver Wings had some florid guitar as she conjured up some dissonance to add to the edgier feelings in the lyrics, as the hushed audience took in Right As The Moon that seemed perfect to be heard as dusk turned into night, so that the church was becoming darker. She closed her set with Butterflies a sweet evocation of the way some of us behave like butterflies, in the way we flit between the different parts of our lives. Although she was a touch nervous, she needn’t have been, as this set went down very well.

The first time I saw Cat Clyde opening for Shakey Graves at The Garage 5 years ago she performed solo, for this tour she had with her Kane Richotte on drums who you may know from Dev 2.0 the Disney Devo tribute act, as well a bass player.

They jumped onto the stage and without a word, launching into the questioning How I Found You that allowed Cat’s voice to really fill the church, as the laid-back backing worked nicely. As they took us into the night they were starting to cook up a nice warm sound as Cat sang about the only friend she needed.

Cat Clyde @ Koko

Cat Clyde @ Koko (Kalpesh Patel)
Cat Clyde @ Koko (Kalpesh Patel)

The Ontario-born Candian made sure to let us know that Everywhere I Go was from the new album Down Rounder as she took in her surroundings and was thankful to be able to play a church as old as this. The Man I Loved Blues from her debut album Ivory Castanets sounded great in this setting, with the bass and drums driving things along, as the pain in the lyrics were emphasized. She was searching for Real Love and I’m sure as we were in a church that love would be divine.

A real highlight of the set was Papa Took My Totems, a song that really sounded like it should be heard alongside 999’s My Dad Trashed My Submarine as great songs about parents ruining part of your childhood, as Cat’s dad takes away the ancient symbols she has collected. Eternity was nicely accented with the sparse drum sound before Cat introduced her band as “these guys”.

The 31-year-old may have been singing about being So Cold but the warmth in her vocals and in the church made sure no one felt cold. All The Black was played mainly solo and stripped back the pain at the songs heart came through.

Clyde then closed with The River that accentuated her folky side and allowed the band to really get going a bit as a finale to end a cool set in a special setting. The church adding an aura to an artist who often has a magical feel to her music.

Cat Clyde @ Koko

Cat Clyde @ Koko (Kalpesh Patel)
Cat Clyde @ Koko (Kalpesh Patel)

Live review of Cat Clyde & Liana Flores Old Church, Stoke Newington by Simon Philips on 22nd August 2023. Photography of Cat Clyde @ Koko on 28th February 2023 by Kalpesh Patel

Cat Clyde Brings Down Rounder To Koko

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