Cathy Davey came to the Theatre Royal last week to promote her new CD The Nameless and she used a four piece rock band and vocalist to rock up a storm, with a mix of Bjork wailing and ooh aahing that borders on Enya or the less poppy side of Lady Gaga. She has been abandoned by her record label and now she’s gone indie with Hammer Toe Records, but she still has an identity problem to mark her from Lisa, Gemma, Julie and the next big thing. She is a multi-instrumentalist and alternates from banjo, two guitars, mandolin and a stint behind the drums. She likes a strong backbeat of drums, bass guitar and punchy rhythms to boost lyrics that are sometimes twee and girly and is a far better songwriter then singer, except for her backing girl voices in breathy echo falsetto.
Her voice got a little croaky and she ran out of steam and changed her playlist for more muted tunes. I was initially puzzled as to why she brought a rock combo when there are such wonderful individual strings on the CD.
I was surprised she never introduced her fine band who are better than accompanists and back beat grinders. Her fans loved the eighty minutes show especially Rueben from her 2007 Tales of Silversleeve – Google how that CD got its title.
Why call you third CD The Nameless shows another stubborn streak like Hammerhead, Hammer Joe. The title song has a great Celtic style humming to it. I loved Army of Tears and Lay Your Hand as lyrical as In He Comes.
Bad Weather was a fine encore. Opening for forty minutes was Rob of the band Our Little Secrets and he was disarmingly shy and almost absentmindedly nice with a classy Dylanesque The Butcher and a memorable Daylight.