Katie Kittermaster / Danny Starr - 229 London

From four songs at an open night at The Bedford to her first headline show at 229, we have chronicled the meteoric rise of Katie Kittermaster and it has been something to behold. Tonight will also see her first full band show which promises to be interesting as we find out in which direction she will go to create the best sound to accompany her songs in a live environment. Ahead of the show she is certainly no diva and is to be found wandering around the venue openly chatting to all and sundry - if she is nervous she is doing a fine job of hiding it.

In a nice touch she takes to the stage to welcome us all and indeed introduce the first act - Danny Starr.

Danny was to be an inspired opener, with an excellent line in well crafted lyrics that grabbed the attention of the listener from the off. The opener "Our Design" being an immediate example

"When was the last time you looked in my eyes?

Felt a shiver run down your spine,

Blind to the flaws in our design"

This was heavy stuff for an opener

"I start to cry, you start to stutter

The fault ain't yours, it's mine, you mutter"

It brought 229 to a deathly silence, and there was added drama from Danny's delivery, just by changing the volume as he sang the words.

Danny's explanation as to the inspiration behind "Plastic Magic" was hilarious and the fact that it included the unlikely words "Botulinum toxin" in it, the proper phrase for Botox, made it all the more endearing. A comment on the perils of cosmetic surgery, wrapped up with some lyrics guaranteed to raise a smile as you listen. and a cracking tune.

Each song revealed more of Danny's marvelous turn of phrase and also revealed him as great company to be with. "Ease My Mind" was accompanied by some suitably dramatic guitar playing, which again had 229 hanging on every well written word.

"The scent of confession - becomes your possession as you stumble in late

Is this just an illusion? oh my minds in confusion but you love it this way"

With a big crooner chorus this was Danny putting his heart on the line "if you don't love me just say so" and it was captivating stuff. His potential next single "Losing Sight" showed yet another side of Danny's delivery, this time a more soulful approach occasionally taking it to a delightfully high pitch. The frustration of covid was brought to bear in "Belong" but it was nothing to the pain expressed in the older song "Railway". The set was to close with "Elixir" which Danny openly admitted he was mispronouncing throughout the song, complete with a singalong it was a great way to finish things off

With Katie due any moment a quick glance around the crowd showed it to be as you might expect quite youthful but the amount of gigs that Katie has played had also attracted a following from the older generations. it is easy to see how Katie's songs chime with a younger audience, quite often they seem conversational recalling events as you might with your friends or they are about situations that they are all experiencing together. For the older spectators the chance to see and recognise a rising talent was enough.

Kicking things off with "The Problem", it must have been heartwarming for Katie to hear so many people singing her lyrics back to her. The sound was reassuringly of a real band and Katie immediately sounded the better for it. Wasting no time before reeling out the big tunes, she unwrapped the mic from its stand for "T Shirt" and demonstrated just how much stage craft she has picked up over all those gigs sometimes dropping her voice to barely a whisper while at others orchestrating the audience clapping along

For "One Of A Kind", Katie occasionally slightly drifted away from her spoken style and was happy to do some more conventional singing on this piece of pure pop. Being a fan of Ed Sheeran, Katie's first cover of the night came "Castle On The Hill", a tune so well known that she was able to take time out to cinduct the audience as they sang along.

Rarely do the words "Here is a new song" get greeted with quite the cheer of the one for "Origami Butterfly" the unlikely tale of love in a Doctors surgery mingled with the Chinese art of paper folding, however this song has been well road tested It's another conversational style song as the events are played back exactly as they happened. Not many "new" songs have an audience that already know every word however Katie's played happily lived every moment with her as it they had each received a folded Lepidoptera with a message on it.