Katie Doherty

Sage, Gateshead

17 January 2018

I think I've seen Katie Doherty more than 12 times, starting more than 10 years ago, and of all those times this was easily her most impressively staged show. It helps that this is the most beautiful-sounding concert hall I've ever been in, and I'm in the best seat (in a hall where there are no bad seats). And she's on a proper stage with proper concert lighting and a proper big piano. And her showmanship is brilliant, beginning the show by walking through the audience, bathed in blue light, and singing an unaccompanied, unamplified, Rose in Winter. And later, in the song We Burn, the balcony behind the stage is lit up and there's suddenly, magically, a full choir standing there.

And after 10 years (even with a gap in the middle), this is the sort of gig she should be playing: in a world-class hall in front of a packed audience. It's what she deserves.

And I could go on about how much Shona Mooney and Dave Grey (violin, melodeon, and backing vocals) enhance her songs, and about how enjoyable it is to watch the cameraderie between the three of them. And about Katie's easy, confident, friendly interaction with the audience. And about...

But it's all secondary to the most important thing: Katie Doherty writes impossibly beautiful songs. Her words and melodies get inside your heart, and stay there long after she's finished singing them.

And that's all I'm going to say. It's just beautiful.

Best set of songs I've ever heard.