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In Winter


COUNTING DOWN TO...

Cheltenham Festival!



A Lovely Random Photo:



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What's All About Katie All About?

Welcome to All About Katie. This site is an appreciation of Katie Melua - the beautiful and talented singer-songwriter with the caramel eyes and sublime voice, and the finest interpreter of a song I have ever heard.

It is also a repository of information about her music, DVDs, videos, tour dates, images, and anything else of interest to her fans. I have put my heart and soul into this project. Katie has given me so much and this is my way of saying thank-you. I hope Ketefans all over the world will find something interesting here about our favourite artist. Enjoy!
Any opinions expressed here are mine, not Katie's!!








Note:

You can collapse the blog entries to just their headings by clicking on the Craggie's Blog banner. Double click to expand them again. Click on an individual heading to hide/show it.






Eva Cassidy Fan Club

If you are a fan of Katie, why not check out this great site for Eva Cassidy?

15.02.19   >   The Package

Singer. Musician. Performer. Composer. Lyricist.
I can do one of those five things. I can write lyrics. I have done all my life and I find it quite easy. When inspiration strikes I can bash out a lyric or poem in half an hour. I don't claim they are great lyrics but I can do them. Yet that ability hasn’t got me anywhere. I can sing, but awfully. Me and my guitar have a special relationship whereby we have mutually agreed that what goes on between us will not be witnessed by any other living creature. I couldn’t stand on stage and perform to save my life. And I have written one song; it took ages and it was rubbish.

Perhaps if I could have found the Elton John to my Bernie Taupin, or the Andrew Lloyd Webber to my Tim Rice, then I would be rich and famous by now, writing my next blockbuster hit from a hammock on a Bermudan beach. That’s not quite how life works. Even if you possess all five of the talents I listed it is no guarantee you will succeed in a dog eat puppy industry where those wielding the power don’t give a monkey’s marble collection whether or not you can move them as long as you can be moulded into a product they can make a pot of cash from.

With that message of doom out of the way, let me be more positive. If you do possess the magic five qualities there’s no reason why you can’t make some kind of living from music. It will require a lot of effort, work, sacrifice and dedication, but it can be done. Nowadays, you can write and record music in your bedroom. You can shoot your own video on your smartphone, and upload it to YouTube. You can create your own CDs and print the labels and inserts for them. And you can use FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter as well as having a blog to promote yourself. All the tools you need are there; you just need to add time and talent. There’s a massive amount of work required but it can be done that way. You no longer have to go and plead in front of Simon Cowell and make a fool of yourself on national television. If you think you can just turn up to some talent contest, warble a couple of verses and be declared the next Adele, then you are living in cloud cuckoo land. Put in the time, effort and work and the rewards may come; even if they don’t it shouldn’t matter that much to you. If you are in it for the love of the music you will keep going even if you have to hold down a daytime job as well. If you are in it for the fame and fortune you are a fool.

So let’s look at those magic abilities in more detail:

Singer. This is the probably the most important one. Can you sing? Even if you can hold a tune, does your voice have a quality that will make others want to listen to it? Millions of people can sing, so what makes your voice different or unique? If you have a special voice it could take you a long way, but it won’t harm your chances to tick some of the other boxes.

Musician. Can you play an instrument? Competently? If you can reach a certain level, particularly with piano or guitar, it will make it so much easier for you to tick the composer box as well. If you can sing well then even a modest ability with an instrument will give you options. If you can play a few chords on a guitar then you can busk on street corners. That’s not so easy if you just sing.

Performer. Not to be confused with singer. I can sing like Bruce Springsteen in the shower. What I certainly could not do is go on a stage and hold 50,000 people in the palm of my hand for four hours. Can you learn to be a natural performer or is it something you are born to? I don’t know. It requires confidence and charisma, and yet some of the most outgoing performers you see are painfully shy if you meet them one to one. It is almost as if there is a split personality - the moment they step on to a stage a switch flips inside them and the other persona takes over. And charisma is a powerful weapon that can cover a multitude of sins if you are not actually a great singer.

Composer. For me, this is the big one. It is amazing how many people get by in the music industry performing songs that other people have written for them. The real magic happens when an artist performs a song they have written themselves. It is only then that they are communicating directly with you. The words and music you hear were produced from their minds and they are giving you a privileged insight into their thoughts. It creates a special connection between artist and audience. A talented interpreter of a song can almost make it their own but there’s nothing quite like the real thing.

Lyricist. Ah yes, words. To me, this would appear to be the easiest of the five by a mile and it never ceases to amaze me when I hear of top artists who struggle to add a few words to their musical masterpieces. It is the one area where Katie doesn’t seem to trust herself entirely yet, though I don’t know why. I’ve always liked her lyrics but I suppose being around the clever wordplay of someone like Mike Batt may have made her feel a little inadequate. They may have different styles but Katie communicates just as effectively.

If, unlike yours truly, you can lay claim to more than one of those abilities then there’s no reason why music shouldn’t play a major role in your life as long as you are willing to work hard. If you can do all five — if you have the package — then you will still need to work hard, but if you do then you could become someone very special indeed. When Mike Batt saw Katie perform her song Faraway Voice all those years ago he identified the package right away. He was right. She turned out okay!

14.02.19   >   Under The Cherry Moon update

I received confirmation from Mike Batt that Katie did indeed record the Prince track "Under The Cherry Moon". This song is listed as a bonus track on the iTunes version of Pictures but the link doesn't work. Instead, you get "Somewhere In The Same Hotel". Since this track hasn't been released anywhere else there is no way for fans to get to hear it, in the UK at least — maybe the US iTunes store has the correct link but I have no way to tell. Perhaps one day it will get included on another compilation album. That is unless Apple ever get around to correcting the mistake. I wouldn't hold your breath on that happening though.

13.02.19   >   Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2019

Katie has been announced as a performer at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (May 1st - 6th). She will perform at the Henry Westons Big Top on Monday 6th May. Tickets go on sale early March. https://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz/whats-on/2019/katie-melua/

13.02.19   >   If You Are So Beautiful  თუ ასე ტურფა იყავი

On the subject of lyrics, I now have a translation of the gorgeous Georgian song "If You Are So Beautiful" from the In Winter album. I've added it to the Lyrics section, obvs, but can't help sharing it with you right here, right now...

If you are so beautiful



If you were such a beauty
Why didn't I notice you, oh violet,
And for love of you
Open my heart?


Now I've met a different gardener
Who covers me with kisses,
Sweetly intoxicated
He gently rocks me

თუ ასე ტურფა იყავი

თუ ასე ტურფა იყავი
რად ვერ გამჩნევდი იაო,
იმად რომ სიყვარულისთვის
გული არ გამიღიაო

ახლა სხვა მებაღე შემხვდა
ალერსით გამაბნიაო,
ტკბილადაც მამიგურგურა
კალთაზედ დამარწიაო

Tu ase t'urpa iqavi


​ tu ase t'urpa iqavi
rad ver gamchnevdi iao,
imad rom siqvarulistvis
guli ar gamighiao

akhla skhva mebaghe shemkvda
alersit gamaghviao,
t'k'biladats mami gurgura
k'altaze damarts'iao

13.02.19   >   Kozmic Blues

I have now added lyrics for Kozmic Blues to the site. This is the version that Katie performs on the Live at the O2 Arena album, a slightly rearranged and modified version of the Janis Joplin original.

12.02.19   >   Track Notes 40: I'd Love To Kill You

Album:  

Writer(s)

Katie Melua & Guy Chambers

Length:

2:59

Released:

26th November 2010

Trivia:

The single version of the song, or radio edit, was released under the title "To Kill You With A Kiss". No doubt somebody felt the original title too shocking for the delicate ears of radio listeners. Poor lambs.

Katie co-wrote five songs with Guy Chambers for this album, including this one. Guy is probably best known for his collaboration with Robbie Williams.

CD tracks

1. To Kill You With A Kiss (single mix)
2. Twisted (Michael Brauer mix)

Lyrics:

 I'd Love To Kill You 

11.02.19   >   One that got away?

I found this Georgian folk song called 'Winter'. No idea how the tune goes, but it seems like one that might have got away from In Winter...

ზამთარი

ზამთარი ვარდსა დააჭკნობს
ფოთლები ჩამოსცვივაო,
ლამაზსა ქალის თვალთაგან
ცრემლები ჩამოსცვივაო.
აქა მშვიდობა!




Winter

Winter is withering the rose,
The petals have fallen.
From the eyes of a beautiful woman,
Tears will fall.
Let peace reign there!

10.02.19   >   Could a computer write a song?

No. Next question. Oh, all right then, let’s think about it a bit more. After all, AI is advancing all the time. Surely if a computer can drive a car then it can write a song. There are already examples of computer-generated art and literature. Well, for a start, I for one won’t be getting in a driverless car any time soon. Even my ‘state-of-the-art’ MacBook Pro goes all screwy on me and hangs once in a while. I don’t want to be inside a car travelling at 70mph on the motorway that is being controlled completely by a box of electronics that is capable of throwing a hissy fit at any moment and really couldn’t give a chocolate disk drive about the safety of its human passengers anyway. As for the art and literature, it’s pretty rubbish if we’re honest.

Music though? There’s only seven notes for god’s sake, how hard can it be? I mean, if Deep Blue can beat Gary Kasparov at chess…. The thing is, Deep Blue won by sheer brute force. It could analyse millions of potential moves and calculate the probability of which of them would give it the best chance of victory. No human could ever hope to match such calculating power. But that is all it was - programmed algorithms working at high speed to process masses of data. It wasn’t thinking. It never out-thought or outwitted Kasparov. It simply possessed a skill that gave it an unfair advantage. Furthermore, Kasparov’s mental faculties were disturbed by the performance of the computer whereas Deep Blue remained unhindered by emotion and applied nothing but pure logic to its task.

Therein lies the crux of this matter. Emotion. Technically, yes, a computer could write a song. You could program it with the rules of music and it could hammer away at all the permutations of notes until something resembling a tune popped out. But that is only half the story. Could it add the lyrics? Again, AI could potentially accomplish such a task. It could trawl through all the songs of Dylan, Springsteen, Young, Bacharach etc. and try to analyse them in its own logical way. I’d actually like to see the results of that; could be a lot of fun. I doubt if it would be very good though.

Songs are uniquely human things. They are born of the way we as people experience the world - happiness, joy, love, pain, sorrow, loss, anger, rage, humiliation, desperation. We feel such a wide range of emotions. We can look outside the window and be moved by a cloud formation or the last leaf clinging on to the branch of a tree. It is impossible for a machine to ever see the world the way we do. Which means it can never write a song the way we do. How can a computer capture the feeling of longing, unrequited love, loneliness. How can it know the feeling of loving someone so much it hurts? Our feelings can be affected by hormonal changes or chemical reactions - these are things that the computer can have no concept of either. And I haven’t even felt the need to bring humour into the equation. Except, I just did. But you get the point. If the day ever comes that a computer can write a song that truly moves us then we are all doomed and I can only hope that by that point we have learned how to clone Arnie. I for one am not expecting to hear Katie singing Deep Blue covers any time soon.

09.02.19   >   Katie Bite: Pictures On A Video Screen

08.02.19   >   In Winter notes

If you love the design of the album cover for In Winter then you might like these. Print them out, cut them up and you can write IW themed notes!

They are separate images. Click on them to enlarge and right-click to save.



07.02.19   >   Throwback Thursday

To 14th July 2018 - The day when Katie decided she needed to create the Ultimate Collection after attending an event at the Georgian School in London.

06.02.19   >   Reasons to be hopeful for a new album in 2019 🎤🎸💿

Since her debut album, Call Off The Search, in 2003, Katie has never gone more than 3 years without releasing a new album. In Winter was released in 2016. (Ultimate Collection is a compilation so doesn't count!). And we know she was working on new songs as far back as last spring. Indeed, on this very day last year I talked about this following a little teaser post by Katie on Instagram! So this could be another exciting year for Ketefans. Maybe around September time? 🤞🙏

05.02.19   >   Lyric card: Dirty Dice

04.02.19   >   Track Notes 39: In My Secret Life

Album:  

Writer(s)

Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson

Length:

4:23

Trivia:

This song first appeared on Leonard Cohen's 2001 album Ten New Songs, and was also covered by Eric Burdon (The Animals) on his 2004 album My Secret Life

Lyrics:

 In My Secret Life 

03.02.19   >   Katie Bite: Stardust

02.02.19   >   Multi-talented 👩‍🎓

01.02.19   >   More reasons to love Georgia

If Katie isn't enough to make you fall in love with Georgia there are plenty of other reasons. For a start, there is scenery to *die* for. It is an incredible place for trekking - check out https://www.caucasus-trekking.com/



Then there is the food. And the wine. Basically, they had me at 'khachapuri'...

31.01.19   >   Gig Alert!

30.01.19   >   Katie Bite: Plane Song

29.01.19   >   Track Notes 38: Dirty Dice

Album:  

Writer(s)

Andrea McEwan & Katie Melua

Length:

3:39

Trivia:

Andrea McEwan collaborated with Katie on two songs for the album "Pictures" - "Dirty Dice" and "What I Miss About You". They are both fabulous songs and it is perhaps a shame they never did more. Andrea supported Katie on her 2008 UK Tour but her album "Rental Property", released in 2009 on Katie's label Dramatico, failed to set the world alight. Both her acting and music careers appear to have stalled and she has fallen off the radar. Her web site has been removed. It's a tough industry.

Lyrics:

 Dirty Dice 

28.01.19   >   Katie Bite: Nine Million Bicycles

27.01.19   >   Lyric card: If You Were A Sailboat

26.01.19   >   I'm dreaming again...

Don't get your hopes up! This isn't real. It is only a dream. But for me it is a recurring one. The one where Katie has every season of the year covered. Katie Melua's Four Seasons: In Spring, In Summer, In Autumn and In Winter. One down, three to go... Okay, this isn't likely to become a thing any time soon, or perhaps ever, but that won't stop me thinking of the possibilities. In my mind I'm already hearing covers of "Summertime" and "September Song". Sigh.

25.01.19   >   The Dark Side of Love

Now that this page has a dark theme it seems a good time to talk about the dark theme in some of Katie’s songs. Some of her songs seem like straightforward love songs but many of them have a darker edge or twist to them. The obvious example is “If You Were A Sailboat”. This is a song that many people see, or rather hear, as a true romantic ballad. After all, “If you were a river I would swim you, if you were a house I would live in you all my days” sounds exactly like the hopelessly romantic gibberish that lovers spout to each other. But really, as early as the second line - “if you were a piece of wood I would nail you to the floor” - you should be thinking there’s more going on here. This is about a controlling, possessive love where obsession and jealousy fester away in one person whilst the other begins to feel stifled and trapped. Anyone who has experienced a relationship like this will find the song moving and poignant, perhaps even painful. The catchy melody and Katie’s sweet delivery allow the song to work just fine as a light love tune but the real message is in there when you look. The devil is in the detail.

“I’d Love To Kill You” is less subtle perhaps but another example of love’s darker side. Then there are the songs where love has fallen apart, such as “It’s Only Pain”, “Junk Mail” and one of my favourites “What I Miss About You”. The latter is another great example of a song that seems very doe-eyed and cosy to begin with and it is easy to get swept along with that and not realise how sour things have turned in the second half of it. The final verse always blows me away, a devastating ending and my favourite three lines of lyrics in any song ever. “Love Is A Silent Thief”, “Never Felt Less Like Dancing” and “Red Balloons” are three more examples. Then there’s “Piece By Piece”, “Shirt Of A Ghost”, “Straight To DVD”, “The Bit That I Don’t Get”, “The One I Love Is Gone”. Are you sensing a pattern here? Happily ever after is a hard outcome to find it would seem. With all these songs about love gone wrong it is no surprise to find one about the fear of love going wrong, which is what “This Is The Love I’m Frightened Of” is about.

So there you have it. Don’t ever think Katie is all about soppy love songs; listen more closely, read between the lyrics and remember that nothing is ever quite as it seems…

Oh, and if you want to balance all of this darkness with the lighter side of love, well, there’s always “Idiot School”.

24.01.19   >   Katie Bite: Plane Song

23.01.19   >   Dark Mode!! 😎

If you're anything like me you may have been tempted over to the dark side. Since Apple introduced Dark Mode it is hard to conceive how we ever survived the bright assault on our eyes we've been subjected to all these years. So if you can't beat 'em....
I'm implementing a dark theme for All About Katie. It is optional - if you wish to remain sweetness and light, or indeed return to it should the dark side scare you, then you may. You will notice two buttons have appeared under the Craggie's Blog banner. I'll let you take a wild guess at what they are for. When you choose a theme it should stick with you across the site *but* I am having to make a little change to every single page for this to happen, so if I miss one or two please don't scream - I am meticulous and I will make sure they all get done!

If you see an awful jumbled mess instead of the beautiful site you were expecting you may need to clear your browser's cache (not cash; that won't help at all). Mind you, if you see an awful jumbled mess you might not get to read this paragraph so I'm just talking to myself here.

22.01.19   >   Katie Bite: Stardust

21.01.19   >   Musical similarities in songs

I love “If The Lights Go Out”. It has a catchy little riff using the chords

G D C Em

This sequence reminds of another song I like, “Brilliant Disguise” by Bruce Springsteen. It has a similar little riff based on the chords

A Asus2 Asus4 A

Completely different chords and a completely different song, yet hearing the one always puts me in mind of the other. No doubt musicologists could explain why, banging on about intervals and what not, but I don’t really care. I love both songs, I love both artists, and I love the emotive mystery of music.

20.01.19   >   Nothing to see here, move along

This entry is intentionally left blank.


19.01.19   >   Sketch effect

18.01.19   >   Katie Bite: Perfect World

17.01.19   >   Track Notes 37: If You Were A Sailboat

Album:  

Writer(s)

Mike Batt

Length:

4:02

Released:

24 September 2007

UK Singles Chart:

23

CD tracks

1. If You Were a Sailboat
2. Junk Mail
3. Straight to DVD
4. This Year's Love

Trivia:

Katie told 'I Like Music' back in 2007, "What I liked about the song is the fact that a lot of love songs tend to deal with the fluffy nice side of love, but this one deals with how you get very selfish when you fall in love with someone, and you don't want to share them with the world, you just want them all about yourself. What's genius about Mike's lyrics is that instead of saying that directly he uses these crazy strange metaphors, "if you were a piece of wood I'd nail you to the floor" and quite bizarre stuff and I like that. Musically it sounds like a really nice smooth love song, but the message is pretty intense and quite dark."

Mark Radcliffe of BBC Radio 2 was amused by the lyric 'If you were a piece of wood, I'd nail you to the floor', and asked his listeners to send in equally strange lyrics and compose a parody song for her to sing, not expecting her to actually do so. Katie contacted the show and agreed to play the song. The lyrics included 'If you were some tiling, I would grout you.' and 'If you were ten pints of beer, I would drink you down my dear'.

Video:

If You Were A Sailboat on YouTube

Lyrics:

 If You Were A Sailboat 

16.01.19   >   Katie Bite: If You Were A Sailboat

15.01.19   >   Just woke from a nightmare....  😱

islands

14.01.19  >   🇬🇪  National Flag Day in Georgia!

georgia flag

14.01.19   >   Ask an impertinent question... 🤣

hvdy

13.01.19   >   Lyric card: Ghost Town

ghost town

12.01.19   >   Not a picture of Katie!

This is a photo I stumbled across that stopped me in my tracks. It isn't Katie. But for some reason it made me think of her. If ever I figure it out I'll let you know. Actually, I probably won't. It's a bit like a hidden objects picture only in this case it's hidden reasons. I've thought of four reasons so far though I'm certain there are more. Oh, just ignore me, I think I'm going serenely mad...

travel

11.01.19   >   I'm resting In Winter!

iw_persp

WHAT? But there's two months of winter left! I know, I know. But I don't want to wear out the vinyl, or the CD for that matter. Hell, I could even wear out the mp3 I reckon. Don't worry, I have a cunning plan. I'm hammering Ultimate Collection instead. UC, you see, contains seven of the ten songs on IW. One of the three omitted is O Holy Night, a standard Christmas carol that has no business being listened to in February anyway. So you get a healthy mix of wintry charm as well as all the general Katie goodness of her other material. And that precious white vinyl can remain pristine a little longer. That's what I call a win-win idea.

10.01.19   >   Katie on Spotify

Now, if you are a proper Ketefan I expect you to own all her albums in physical and digital formats. But I must accept that some people will just listen to her on Spotify, such is the world today. To that end, I've made life a little easier for these streamaphobes by creating a Spotify code for Katie. On your phone, tap the search icon in Spotify and tap the camera icon, then scan one of the images below. The one on the right has been added to the info panel on the right hand side of this page so it will always be handy. You could even print it out and stick it to the wall. Or better still just buy all her music.

 

09.01.19   >   Katie cubes

Why? Why not? The one in the middle was created in PhotoScape. The one on the left is a physical object you can print out and make thanks to my cunning design, as is the In Winter variant on the right.
-> How to make Katie dice

08.01.19   >   Twitter smarties take note!

07.01.19   >   Katie on BBC Songs Of Praise

A beautiful performance of All Night Vigil by Katie and the Gori Women's Choir on Songs Of Praise was shown yesterday. This was an edited piece from 2017 cut into a new edition of the show, presumably because it was just so good.

06.01.19   >   Katie Bite: I Will Be There

05.01.19   >   Track Notes 36: Ghost Town

Album:  

Writer(s)

Katie Melua, Mike Batt

Length:

3:29

Trivia:

Katie dabbling with reggae and nailing it.

Video:

Live version on YouTube

Lyrics:

 Ghost Town 

04.01.19   >   Katie's early ambition

I came across this quote from a BBC interview in November 2003:

Fifteen years later I think we can safely say that ambition has been achieved. When she performs songs from Call Off The Search at live shows they get rapturously received to this day, and they also get regular airplay time on radio stations around the world. In another fifteen years I believe In Winter will be seen as a classic album too (for some of us it was after fifteen minutes). To me, the very definition of a Katie Melua fan is someone who appreciates the music for the music.

03.01.19   >   Sketch effect

02.01.19   >   Katie Bite: Belfast

01.01.19   >   Happy New Year!


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