Sometimes musically I tend to paint myself into a corner. I have very definite opinions on what I like, and what I don’t and it means that I can miss out on some truly great stuff. Thankfully in the case of Little Birdy, my initial error in judgement was rectified just in time for me to witness a spellbinding show put on by the band at the Alex Hills Hotel last night, to the point where its now fairly clear that I worship at the church of Katy Steele. Call me up to testify at any time you like.
Lead singer Katy Steele, despite the rest of the band being very talented, highly competent and engaging stole the show as she entertained the surprisingly small crowd as if we were all occupants of Wembley Stadium. At a diminutive five foot tall what Katy lacks in stature she most certainly makes up for in stage presence. Being lucky enough to score a spot in the front row directly opposite Katy’s mike gave me an opportunity to see her all magnificence close up.
Thankfully the set list favoured material from their first album Big Big Love and their latest album Confetti. However one of the highlights of the night came with set opener Come On, Come On taken from second album, Hollywood which set the scene for the thunderous tone to come as the band hit their stride instantly while Katy, who had obviously studied old video footage Freddie Mercury captivated the crowd.
Other highlights included Beautiful To Me, to which the crowd sang along unaccompanied to the song’s entire second verse, my personal favourite Relapse, successful single Hairdo, a cover of Split Enz’s Six Months in a Leaky Boat, which was recorded previously as part of the Finn Brothers tribute album She Will Have Her Way. However, the best songs of the night were saved for the encore as a cover Sam Brown’s 1989 song Total Control segued into their well known song Bodies providing a fittingly enthralling and dynamic conclusion to the night.
Considering the band were without lead guitarist Simon Leach, whose role was outstandingly covered by the band’s guitar tech, this fantastical set was even more impressive. The friend who I went with has now seen Little Birdy seven times, and it is easy to see why. As long as Katy and the band put on stellar performances such as the one I witnessed, I will continue to throw the collection plate around to replicate such a mesmerising experience.