Kathryn Williams & Neill MacColl (5 stars)

Kathryn Williams

Classic Grand, Glasgow, Wed 26 Mar


You can hear the smile in Kathryn Williams voice, an almost effortless, laconic talent that soars high, floats and then falls down to a blusey bellow. Williams sings about the simple but ineffable things: about subtle changes in emotional closeness, light changes, the weight of a feeling. With Neill MacColl in tow, as they tour their co-written album Two, the lovers seem to be having a hoot, giggling and cracking filthy jokes between songs, and gently seducing a captivated audience.

There’s a folksy, countrified pop thing going on here, a blend of warm, singing guitars and perfect melodies, with no need for lyrical conceit. As a live show, Williams keeps all the mellifluousness in check with her wit. ‘This one’s about a painting,’ says MacColl with deadpan delivery. ‘It’s more than that,’ says Williams. ‘It’s a painting in my dinning room.’ And both burst into mad laughter. Then ‘Blue Fields’ fills the room.

It’s difficult to locate a highlight in an uplifting an impeccable set. To paraphrase Williams, they’ll ‘sweeten you like the sugar when the world has been fucking with you.’

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