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Katie Kim, Live At The Unitarian Church
One girl dreamily tells me that she nearly fell asleep during the show, but, she insists, in a good way. I know how she feels.
Celina Murphy, 22 May 2012
Three artists, two LPs, one church and some 200 punters, locked in a deep musical slumber: I love it when a plan comes together.
Katie Kim has been plotting the release of her bone-rattling double album Cover And Flood for three years now, so it’s only right that it receives a very special baptism.
Tonight, the Waterford multi-instrumentalist shares the altar of Dublin’s Unitarian Church with longtime collaborator and right-hand man Deaf Joe, while broadcaster and friend Donal Dineen provides visual accompaniment in the form of metamorphosing images projected onto the walls.
It’s the kind of gig that I imagine most artists are dying to do, but are either too busy or too intimidated to attempt.
“This is fucking terrifying!” Deaf Joe exclaims, conveniently clearing up the confusion as he prepares to open the show with a few tunes of his own. His set doesn’t pass without a few nerve-fuelled hiccups, but the Waterford man needn’t be so worried: his intense and soulful folk sounds positively thrilling in its new home.
Joe returns to the stage as part of Katie’s five-piece band, who launch into an all-too-short selection of tracks from the spookily brilliant Cover And Flood.
If ever there was proof of the stupefying powers of putting pictures to music, this show is it.
Dineen’s shapeshifting visuals throw flickering flames and breeze-battered blades of glass onto the sanctuary walls, some of which land rather fittingly on the beatitudes of Jesus. “Blessed are the meek,” one reads, “for they shall inherit the earth.” We see the tall, beardy one’s point: Kim’s on-stage persona is far from attention-grabbing, but her songs couldn’t have been more powerful if they’d been played on the church’s colossal 100-year-old pipe organ.
Some numbers, like the wistful ‘Pause‘, are instantly striking, while others, eerie nursery rhyme ‘All Living Things‘ or the ethereal ‘Blood Bean‘ for example, are sombre and calming, soothing the crowd to complete silence.