Letham Nights 39 – The Review
Wowzers trousers, ladies and gentleman! It was a soulful one, right enough, but no less rousing for all that. Some of the finest voices and songwriting talent we’ve yet assembled joined together for a toe-tapping Christmas shindig that will be remembered for years.
First on stage was old friend of Letham Nights, Robert Pia. Roberta has graced us with her presence on several occasions and in several guises. After dazzling us previously with her work with The Banana Sessions and The Bevvy Sisters, Roberta tonight gave us a solo performance which got the night started with a bang. Roberta’s voice is simply amazing. She has real power but, where some singers blessed with such pipes, would get carried away, Roberta knows enough to sing within herself, respecting the songs and creating a performance of real poise and class. Accompanying herself with effortless and simple guitar picking the overall effect is just lovely. Her encore of Aretha’s ‘Baby I Love You’ was just sublime.
Kirsty Almeida comes from here, there and everywhere, it would seem, and her influences are no less diverse. Combining elements of jazz, folk and blues (I know, I hate labels too but you try making sounds into words!) it’s obvious from the first note that this is what Kirsty ‘does’. Equally at home with her own material as with, say, Joni Mitchell, she owns the stage and nails her performances, charming the whole room in the process. And talk about engagement! There’s nothing a LN crowd appreciates more than a nice bit of chat to bond audience and performer together and, boy, does Kirsty love an inter-song chinwag. From the story of discovering her parlour guitar to anecdotes about baby brain (“where’s the capo? – there’s the capo! – who put that there!”) and her moving reminiscence of her time as a child spent visiting elderly Rosyth ‘landmark’, Josie Brown, Kirsty’s chat kept us just as enchanted as her singing.
Of course, you can’t be a great singer with average backing and Kirsty brings the noise in the shape of smooth jazz fountain John Ellis on keys, ‘Mr Upright’ Matt Owens on upright bass and Pete Churchman on guitar and drums (simultaneously, folks!). A tidy little band and no mistakin’. And smashing chaps to boot. And we mustn’t forget the moral support and ‘vibes’ provided by Baby Ray! What a champ!
Special thanks also to The Doorstep Bakery who turned out with some hot little Cajun Swirls to raise the temperature further.
Check out Kirsty Almeida at: https://www.facebook.com/kirstyalmeida
Check out Robert Pia at: https://www.facebook.com/thebananasessions