👉🏻 All About AAK
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. And if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter remember this: I am NOT Katie!
You can collapse the blog entries to just their headings by clicking on the Craggie's Blog banner. Click again to expand them. Click on an individual heading to hide/show it. Click on the heading above to hide this blurb!
05.08.22 > Aerial Objects Live Show Announced
Katie will give a one-off performance of Aerial Objects with Simon Goff in Berlin on 7th September. Getting to see these songs performed live is a unique chance that very few people will ever have so if you are able to go I'd highly recommend you to. Visit the Reservix website for tickets.
03.08.22 > Venue Change!
Katie has reported that the Bonn concert on the 8th of August will now be held at Brückenforum. If you already had a ticket I assume it will be transferable to the new venue but if I were you I'd check to see if there's anything you need to know. If you want to buy a ticket there's an updated link on the On Tour page.
01.08.22 > Thoughts on Aerial Objects
I have decided to stop reviewing Katie’s albums. The reason is simple—I have loved every album she has ever released. No matter what she does I just seem to ‘get it’. In light of this, I can hardly be considered an impartial reviewer of her music when I know I’m highly unlikely to give her anything other than five stars. She would have to make an utter dog of an album to get anything less from me and after making music for more than two decades I don’t actually believe she knows how to make bad music. Her love of the craft and dedication to detail almost guarantee her end product will be quality. Her music may not be everyone’s cup of tea but that is true of any artist and it is a reflection of the listener’s taste rather than the artist’s ability.
Instead, I will merely offer my thoughts and observations on her latest offering, Aerial Objects, a collaboration with Simon Goff. I will begin with a warning—I absolutely love this album. Yes, yes, you knew I was going to say that but there’s a but. The but being that I cannot guarantee that you will. I have already seen a one-star review of it in a prominent paper and the simple fact is that Aerial Objects is Marmite. It is unlike anything Katie has done before and there will be fans that recoil against change and simply refuse to give it a chance. For me, that is a shame because this is a special album, dripping with musical and lyrical quality but it is not for me to tell you what to think, rather I can only tell you what I think and hope it helps you decide to give something new a try.
It is a difficult album to categorize. There are vibes of classical, ambient, electronica, late night jazz and the kind of carefully considered lyrics that Katie began to hone with Album No. 8. You could easily consider it to be background music and yet it rewards immersive listening with cleverly crafted and layered music that seems to hook you more with each play. I’ll introduce each of the six tracks in order by giving a quote from Katie about that song.
I like the line ‘kept looking for that weight of sadness in me, should I move here, but all that I could find was being thankful that I was here’ You know when you’re writing and some inner voice knows more than you do...
...that's how this one felt. K x
Inspired by the story of the ‘Deutcher Werkerbund’ a German association of Artists, Architects & designers which preceded Bauhaus, we wanted to know who built Berlin, went into a rabbit hole of the works of Werner Duttman.
Simon’s violin eases us into the album, quickly joined by a steady but subtle bass line. When Katie begins to sing you quickly realise the vocals are an equal partner to the music rather than being the leading act. The whole album is as much about the music as the lyrics and Katie’s voice is treated as an instrument rather than the star turn. This track is interesting because of the opposing perspectives Simon and Katie have about airports—Simon seeing them as depressing places where people have to endlessly wait in tedious limbo and Katie seeing them as exciting portals to new adventures. Personally, I see them as both those things. Like all the tracks on the album, rather than try to extract the artists’ meaning from them you are encouraged to get lost in the words and melodies and derive your own feelings. Let the music take you places in your own mind.
It happened isn’t about one specific event, it's a blueprint of how I feel when something dramatic happens. How quickly the idea of certain groups turn in my mind into friends or foes.
Possibly my favourite track on the album, and it can quickly become an earworm that will bounce around your brain for days. It boasts a chorus of Katie singing “da’s” in a ridiculously catchy manner that is highly reminiscent of Enya and instantly made me think about her “The Celts” album. The only thing I haven’t managed to get my head around is the abrupt ending to the song mid-sentence—it is quite jarring and if there was meant to be a point behind it I’m afraid it is lost on me, although perhaps the clue is in Katie’s words above about something dramatic happening. In the old days, I might have just thought the tape ran out.
The hotel that inspired this song is in Tbilisi, it used to be an old printing factory, and turned into a hotel a few years ago, designed in a stunning contemporary style, with plenty of Georgian artistic heart in it.
The music here has multi-layered Philip Glass vibe about it that varies in light and shade to give an underlying sense of drama to Katie’s calm and dreamy vocals. Just a gorgeous song.
Textures Of Memories
Have you ever experienced something so good, that when you try to remember it, your mind has subdued the effect? as if you don’t deserve the magic and beauty of the experience. That’s what this Textures stumbled upon for me.
Also inspired by the sunrises and sunsets in Manhattan, Simon did a perfect job of capturing those heights and the mad energy of that city in our minds.
The vocals are more prominent on this track and it feels like the song could easily have been added to Album No. 8. There is some exquisite violin work from Simon on here, with an achingly beautiful melody starting when Katie’s singing drops back in the mix for a deliberate distant effect. Stunningly beautiful music and lyrics.
Aerial objects came about from the blueprints of classic songs, and the words that are used most often in them and given the greatest weight…we kept going back to aerial objects, hence the mention of Bowie’s Starman..
... Nina Simone’s Birds, Judie Garland’s Rainbows, all the mentions of Heaven and angels in songs.. I bet there's loads we've missed ...
More Glass-esque musical drama to stir your soul and Katie’s haunting vocals echoing around your brain. This track is well named because it almost does make you feel like you are floating above the landscape on a moonlit night. You don’t want it to ever end.
Millions Of Things
The words for Millions of things was inspired by the Making of the British landscape by Nicholas Crane we start the album in a man made space and finish in a natural environment, the forming of these epic islands.
It's also about the environment of language which Nicholas Crane uses so stunningly. The painting of thousands of years with words is something else in his book.
At almost seven minutes this is comfortably the longest studio track Katie has ever recorded. It is also her most lyrically ambitious, with nearly four hundred words. That could get her a high five from Bob Dylan, though she might have to settle for a doff of the cap from me. The music is a little more restrained on this track but there is still plenty going on behind the scenes when you pay attention, assuming you can get past the surprise of hearing Katie singing about quintessentially-British landscape explorer Nicholas Crane, a man who never goes anywhere without his umbrella. From now on, I doubt I’ll ever go anywhere without a means of listening to Aerial Objects. Katie is creating more masterpieces than Rembrandt and this album, not forgetting it is a collaboration with the impressive Simon Goff, is another one to hang on the wall. Sooner or later she’ll release an album that is merely pretty good and we may all feel a tad disappointed. Though I wouldn’t hold your breath on that.
31.07.22 > Summer Tour underway
Katie has begun her summer tour of Germany, which is bookended by gigs in Switzerland and Lithuania. She began at Zoa City, Zurich, on Thursday, and commences a 6-date tour in 8 days around Germany beginning with Schloss Oranienburg, Berlin on 3rd August. The remaining events are listed below. Visit the On Tour section (link in the left menu) if you would like to check ticket availability for the remaining shows.
As for UK fans, well, no good news at the moment. The disappointment of the 2020 Tour cancellation is still raw for some of us but the current mini tour of Germany are likely to be Katie's last major shows for a while. Events in her personal life may mean we have to be patient before seeing her at a UK venue again. Who knows when we'll get to see her perform the beautiful songs of Album No. 8 and Aerial Objects live, but the wait will be worth it.
24.07.22 > Katie and Simon talk about Aerial Objects
There's a nice piece in the Yorkshire Post by Duncan Seaman where Katie and Simon discuss working together and the ideas behind the tracks on Aerial Objects. You can find it at Katie Melua and Simon Goff: On the making of Aerial Objects | Yorkshire Post
15.07.22 > Aerial Objects Released Today!
Katie's new album, a collaboration with Simon Goff, is now available. Aerial Objects is stunning. Go find it in all the expected places...
10.07.22 > The Adventures of Bad Katie - Episode 21
“Boy, have I ever got you an amazing gig!” said Sumit, rubbing his hands gleefully.
“I’m not a boy, I’m a girl, and no, you have never got me an amazing gig,” said Bad Katie grumpily.
Sumit looked peeved. “No, I mean I really have got you lined up for something pretty special.”
“If it’s a judge on a talent show you are about to lose teeth.”
“Calm down, dear. I’d never insult your integrity like that.”
“I’m talking about the chance to work with one of the greatest icons in the history of music.”
“Bublé? He’s been chasing me for years making puppy dog eyes and warbling like a pigeon. He knows where he can shove it.”
“Katie, you incandescent oaf, I’m talking about the legend that is Bob Dylan.”
“Oh. Thought he was dead.”
“Very much alive and well, and there are certain artists he would like to work with while he still feels motivated and before he, er, does kick the bucket. For reasons I’ve yet been able to fathom, you’re one of them.”
“Hey look, the guy’s getting on and his time is precious. I did ask if he’d considered Adele.”
Bad Katie growled.
Sumit raised a hand. “It’s okay. He winced at the idea. Said he’d tried listening to one of her songs and ended up with tinnitus for a week.”
“Heh, heh,” chuckled Bad Katie.
“He said your volume was perfect. Soothed his brain instead of assaulting it.”
“The guy has taste.”
“He said you massaged his cerebellum.”
“I did no such thing,” exclaimed Bad Katie. “Dirty old sod.”
“Yes, well, this is an amazing opportunity for you. There’s so much you could learn from this guy about songwriting.”
“Works both ways you know. He’ll learn a lot from me too.”
“Yeah, like never to work with you again,” laughed Sumit.
Bad Katie scowled at him. “Anyway, what’s he paying?”
“Paying? Are you not listening? This is Bob Dylan we’re talking about. You should be paying him.”
Bad Katie snorted. “He’s well minted. And besides, I’m a highly sought-after performer, I don’t have time to do freebies.”
Sumit flicked through his desk diary. “Actually, you’ve no bookings for the next two months.”
“I have a lot of meditating to do. I need to re-centre my chi. I’ll be extremely busy doing nothing.”
“Bob wants to record a duet with you and then shoot a video for it. He’ll play your grandad. Oh, and he suggested that actor you fancy, Chucky Egg or something, to play your love interest…”
“Chuck Roxx!” squealed Bad Katie. “You know what, I’ve always wanted to work with Bob Dylan. Set it up, Sumit.”
Bad Katie put two fingers in each side of her mouth and let out a piercing whistle. The cab that was approaching slowed down and stopped beside her. She clambered in and slumped back in the seat.
“Where to miss?” said the driver.
“Hey Arnie, not seen you for a while, how you been?” said Bad Katie.
Eric, who, for reasons unknown, Bad Katie preferred to refer to as Arnie, grimaced. “Yeah. Kind of hoped you’d buggered off back to Georgia.”
“Arnie! After all I’ve done for you. I’m savagely hurt. And I was just about to say how well you’re looking.”
“That’s because I’ve not seen you for a while.”
“You’re in danger of not getting a tip young man.”
“I suppose that’s progress. I’m usually in danger of not getting paid when you’re in my cab. Where to then?”
“The recording studio.”
“Ah. Well, good to know some microphone is about to have a worse day than me.”
“What is wrong with you today? You’re testing my patience, Arnie.”
Eric sighed. “Sorry mi.. er, ma’am. The wife just left me. Ran off with another cabbie. Well, actually, he gave her a lift.”
“Can’t say I blame her.”
“I’ve thought about ending it all.”
“No, Arnie, you mustn’t think like that. Just hang in there. At least, until you get me to the studio.”
“I’ve missed your caring attitude,” said Eric.
“Ooh, hang on Arnie, slow down a sec.”
Bad Katie wound her window down as Eric took his foot off the gas. She took a catapult and a walnut out of her bag and with great dexterity sent said walnut flying through the air, where it briefly enjoyed its short-lived existence as an aerial object before colliding with the backside of a passing policeman. The policeman squealed and looked around in disbelief.
“Floor it, Arnie,” said Bad Katie, winding her window back up.
Eric grinned. “I’ve missed you, ma’am.”
Bad Katie entered the hallway of the recording studio. An elderly gentleman was squinting at the photographs hung up of famous singers who had passed through that very hall.
“Hey old man,” she said. “You escape from a care home or something?”
“I’m just waiting for a pretty young woman to share some special time with.”
“Yeah, good luck with that Methuselah. Kudos for your spirit though.”
“Think it might be you, babe.”
“Dream on, grandad.”
“The name’s Dylan. Bob Dylan.”
“Oh, right, I see. Do you want me to help you into the studio?”
“I’m old, babe, not decrepit.”
“Well you look decrepit.”
“Thanks, babe. You must be Kaydee.”
“That’s what I said, Kaydee.”
“No, it’s Katie, not Kaydee.”
Bob looked confused. “Not sure I follow you, babe.”
“That’s okay, I don’t follow you either. I’m surprised you even have an Instagram account to be honest. I suppose you have a team that handles it.”
Bob squinted at her inscrutably. “Good thing you sing fine, babe, cos you sure do talk a lot of nothing.”
At that moment, Sumit arrived, out of breath. “Sorry I’m late. Oh Jesus, what’s that smell? Sorry Katie, Bob’s of that certain age where wind gets to be a problem.”
“Actually, that was me,” said Bad Katie grinning.
Bob eyed Sumit inscrutably. “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”
Bob and Bad Katie stood in front of their microphones, headphones donned.
Bad Katie cleared her throat.
“Testing, testing,” she said into the microphone.
Bob gazed wearily at her. “Ain’t you just, my dear. Look, there ain’t no need for that nonsense, these boys got everything set up sweet.”
Bad Katie glared at him. “I’m testing my voice, Gandalf, not the bloody microphone.”
“Oh. I see. Well, I never do that.”
“I know, I’ve heard your recordings.”
“Anyhow, let’s do this thing.”
“Okay. So, you’re going to sing the questions and I’ll do the answer bits, right?”
“You got it, babe.”
Bad Katie’s eyes narrowed. “Which means you get to sing more lines than me.”
Bob chuckled. “Which means you have to do less work for the same pay! Seems like you got the better deal here.”
“Okay guys,” said a voice in their headphones. “Can we go for a take then?”
Bob shrugged. He didn’t bother clearing his voice before singing. He’d never done it before in his life and saw no reason to start now.
”How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?”
Bad Katie put her hand up. “Hold on a minute.”
“What?” said Bob. “That was flawless.”
“Yeah, but sexist. Can’t you change it to ‘person’?”
“No. Been like that since I wrote it fifty years ago and I ain’t changing’ it now. Any other issues with the lyrics?”
“Well, actually, yes.”
“Really? You know they gave me the Nobel Prize for my lyrics.”
“So what? I got a certificate from night school but you don’t see me harping on about it.”
“Okay missy, enlighten me. What else is wrong with the song?”
“Right. For a start, doves don’t sleep in sand, they like to perch in trees or on a ledge. And cannonballs don’t need to be banned, they haven’t been used for centuries. You only see them in museums. And as for…”
Bob put his hands up in the air. “Whoa young lady, hold your horses there. Don’t take things so literal. It’s all about imagery, not accuracy. Poetic license. Painting pictures with words.”
Bad Katie sighed. “Just trying to help.”
“The song is a classic my dear, it don’t need no help.”
“That’s a double negative.”
Bob snarled. “Okay, once more from the top…”
“Oh, hi, Mister Roxx,” said Bad Katie, blushing like a smitten schoolgirl.
“Hey, you must be Katie,” said Hollywood heart-throb Chuck Roxx. He flashed his perfect teeth as he grinned and gave her his trademark wink, the one that made women love him and men hate him.
“I’m your number one fan,” said Bad Katie. “I have all your films on Blu-ray, even the straight to DVD ones that aren’t available on Blu-ray.”
“Really?” chuckled Chuck. “How’d you manage that?”
“I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you. My favourite is The Heartcrusher. I still daydream about that bit with the fluffy handcuffs…”
Chuck smiled uneasily.
“And what you did with those hollowed-out melons in The Dog-Walker’s Wife, well, genius.”
“That wasn’t actually my idea…”
“Okay people, let’s get to work,” yelled Taylor, the director of the video. “So, in this scene, we need you, Bob, gently rocking in the chair on the porch of the beach house, looking wistfully out to sea as though recalling some bittersweet moment from long ago. Then Chuck, you amble along the beach, smiling in a carefree manner. Katie, you run towards him and give him an affectionate hug like an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. Right then, everybody hit their start marks.”
Bad Katie and Chuck Roxx shuffled off in opposite directions on the beach whilst Bob Dylan eased himself into the chair on the porch. He squinted out to sea.
“Hey Bob,” shouted Taylor. “We need wistful, not inscrutable.”
“Inscrutable’s all I got,” growled Bob.
“Er, okay, inscrutable is fine,” said Taylor. “And…. action!”
Bob began rocking, Chuck began ambling, Bad Katie began running.
“Cut!” yelled Taylor a few seconds later. “Katie, I said hug him affectionately, not wrestle him to the ground and straddle him. Back to your marks, everyone.”
A bemused Chuck scrambled to his feet and dusted sand off his jeans. “Gonna be a long day…”
Bad Katie sat pouting in Sumit’s office, her arms folded, as she sulkily watched the big screen. “It’s so unfair!”
“I think it’s a great video,” said Sumit. “I’ve never seen Bob look so… well, inscrutable. And as for Roxx, I have to say he surprised me, the guy can actually act.”
“And what about that bimbo in the stupid wig and sunglasses? No one will ever believe that’s me!”
“Actually, I’ve let a few people see the video and nobody has twigged she’s a double yet.”
“She’s not my double,” hissed Bad Katie. “She couldn’t be less like me if she tried.”
“She’s a very good character actress, nailed your mannerisms, and the make-up guys worked their usual magic. No one will suspect. No one will ever know.”
“Huh. I’ll know,” mumbled Bad Katie grumpily.
“Well look Katie, you only have yourself to blame. After the eleventh take of that first scene, anyone could see that Chuck was not amused. We tried to talk him out of a restraining order but he was adamant. He would have quit the shoot and we couldn’t risk losing our star.”
“Star! I’m the star! Well, and maybe Bob a bit too. It’s our song you know.”
“Technically, it’s Bob’s song. But in terms of an MTV audience, Roxx is the star. They’ve probably never even heard of Dylan, never mind you.”
“How rude,” huffed Bad Katie.
“It’s business, Katie. Just business. Look, let it go and move on. I’ll go and get us some nice coffee.”
The moment Sumit left the room, Bad Katie took a container from her rucksack and took out three out-of-date eggs which she then carefully placed underneath Sumit’s seat cushion.
When Sumit returned she smiled at him.
“That’s better,” he said. “Glad to see you taking my advice for a change.”
Bad Katie grinned wickedly. “Well, there’s no point making a stink is there?”.
04.07.22 > DEK Magazine Issue 05
Katie and Simon are featured in Issue 5 of DEK Magazine, discussing their collaboration on the forthcoming Aerial Objects album. An interesting read no doubt, but be warned that it costs £12, which in the current economic climate equates to around 6 litres of diesel. If financial woes are not something that furrows your brow on a regular basis then why not click the pic below to pop along to the DEK web site and check it out. If the little budget bouncer on your shoulder is growling in your ear at the mere idea, perhaps you'd be better off popping along to Katie's online store and pre-ordering the album itself, out on the 15th, for a genuine bargain of £9.99.
26.06.22 > Official Video For Textures Of Memories
The official video for Textures Of Memories has been released and you can watch it right here! Another very special track from what is promising to be a very special album, Aerial Objects.
24.06.22 > New Single Out Now! Textures Of Memories
The second single from the forthcoming album, Aerial Objects, is released today. "Textures Of Memories", like "Hotel Stamba", is delightful and different. No throwaway pop here, Katie and Simon are giving us music to make you think. Restrained yet complex, it is music that rewards the listeners that devote their attention to it. Aerial Objects is shaping up to be a very special album indeed. Listen to "Textures Of Memories" on Spotify by clicking the image below!
08.06.22 > Katie Features On New William Orbit Album
William Orbit has announced his new album, The Painter, will be released on August 26th. The name may ring a bell with some of you since the legendary musician and producer has worked with Katie in the past, producing her acclaimed album The House. Katie features on the track "Duende", and her friend Polly Scattergood also features with a reworking of her track "Colours Colliding". I think we can expect this to be rather good!
04.06.22 > Official Video For Hotel Stamba
The official video for Hotel Stamba has been released and you can watch it right here! Don't ask me what it's about–it's a bunch of bees doing bee stuff. But the music is sublime...
03.06.22 > New Single Out Now! Hotel Stamba
Katie's collaboration with Simon Goff is bringing a new album, Aerial Objects, on July 15th and the first single from it, Hotel Stamba, is released today. It is unlike anything Katie has done before and it is truly wonderful. Listen to it on Spotify by clicking the image below!
29.05.22 > Quick Fact
Katie's name appears in a sans-serif font on all of her albums with Dramatico except "Secret Symphony" (and, for some reason, the bonus edition of "Call Off The Search").
By contrast, "Album No 8" is her first use of a sans-serif font since parting with Dramatico.
28.05.22 > BRIT School Stories
Katie has taken part in a new six-part series of videos aimed at celebrating the iconic BRIT School, of which she is a notable alumnus. These are an inspiring watch for any young person looking for a career in performing arts. Click the pic to find out more.
26.05.22 > Happy Independence Day to Georgia!
15.05.22 > Katie Bite - No Better Magic
27.04.22 > New Album Alert! Aerial Objects
Joyous news at a time when we all need some: Katie has collaborated with Simon Goff for a new album entitled "Aerial Objects". It will be unlike anything she has done before but rest assured it will blow your mind because when it comes to music, Katie doesn't do anything badly. The album will be released on July 15th on CD and digital, with vinyl available on 2nd September. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify but if you want to support the artists then click the pic to pre-order the CD or vinyl from Katie's store.
1. Tbilisi Airport
2. It Happened
4. Textures Of Memory
5. Aerial Objects
6. Millions Of Things
25.04.22 > Katie Interviewed By Vikas Shah
A lovely conversation Katie had on music, art and beauty with Vikas Shah for his ThoughtEconomics website. Click the pic to go look!
24.04.22 > Tulip Katie Melua
You may not all be aware that Katie had a tulip named after her in 2006. It is pretty hard to find but last year I finally traced the original grower in the Netherlands and got a Dutch friend to send me some bulbs. They are all about to bloom. Here is the first to open. As you can see, they are a lovely deep pink with a delicate white frill around the edges. Elegance and natural beauty. What a perfect fit to be associated with Katie!
14.04.22 > Gig Alert! Lithuania, Saturday August 13th
A rare opportunity for the people of Lithuania to see Katie live at the Palanga Concert Hall this August. For ticket details visit the Kakava ticket site.
13.04.22 > Gig Alert! Switzerland, Thursday July 28th
A magical summer evening for those of you who can attend Katie's Zoa City event in Switzerland on July 28th. For ticket details visit the Zoa City site.
12.04.22 > New Music From Gori Women's Choir
Gori Women's Choir have released three astonishing new tracks under the title Lunar Codex. Click on the link to be blown away by these amazing ladies on Spotify.
For more information on the project, which will see recordings including these sent to the surface of the moon, see Recordings of Gori Women's Choir ensemble included in first sending of arts to the Moon in 50 years
Listen to Lunar Codex on Spotify via the link button below:
11.04.22 > Katie Bite - I Cried For You
31.03.22 > Katie To Perform With Students In Oxford
"A one off musical performance of wholly original songs by students and young people, presented by acclaimed singer-songwriter Katie Melua and the University of Oxford. Inspired by stories from Professor Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads, the musical works draw on Frankopan’s account of these ancient trade routes, exploring journeys through time, geographies and cultures."
This event will take place on Thursday, 28th April 2022 at 7.30pm. For ticket information go to www.musicatoxford.com/whats-on/katie-melua-presents-the-silk-roads-project/
30.03.22 > War And Music
Any human being with a trace of empathy will have been affected by the war in Ukraine. I have always found it difficult to think about the suffering of people or animals by the hand of human beings. I simply cannot comprehend how one sentient being is able to inflict pain on another without the slightest concern. A single instance of physical abuse upsets me, so clearly the mass suffering that happens during a war is hard to bear. Thinking about the helpless such as babies and patients in hospitals having missiles rain down on them is horrific. As I sit in my quiet office in the countryside and gaze out of the window, I see that nothing seems to have changed much here. In fact, there are the first signs of spring appearing, which is normally a time of great joy. But my heart remains heavy and joy seems inappropriate.
I realised that I hadn't really been listening to music since the invasion began. Music makes me happy but happiness felt like a vulgar luxury when people were losing their lives and seeing their world literally crumble around them. It is bad enough not to be able to do much to help the people of Ukraine, but enjoying yourself at such a time seems nothing less than sinful.
It is hard to overstate the importance of musicians. They are the defenders of the Universe. Music gives us the courage and determination to overcome adversity, it heals and inspires us, it brings us joy and contentment. Musicians are the wizards of the modern world, casting spells that help us cope with the everyday perils we face. What a dark place the world would be without music. However much gloom there is, music is the light that guides us through. War is death; music is life.
14.03.22 > Katie Bite - The Little Swallow
A Katie Bite for Ukraine. This Ukrainian carol is about the coming of spring, but as we see the signs of spring now in the UK, in Ukraine, people are fighting for their lives where both winter and war show little sign of relenting. Let every spring flower you see represent a beautiful Ukrainian soul and remind you that we must work together to protect all that is good in this world.
04.03.22 > Fund4Ukraine
If you want to do something to help Ukraine there is a way to get finance direct to the Ukraine government thanks to a Georgian funding initiative. It involves the use of crypto-currency but please don't be put off by this–it is a safe and secure system and if you haven't yet dipped a toe into crypto waters this is a perfect way for you to get started and learn more about it and the cause could not be better. Click the pic below to go to the Fund 4 Ukraine web site.
03.03.22 > Katie Sings Ukrainian Folk Song on Instagram
20.02.22 > Katie Conundrum
Unscramble the letters to reveal the title of a Katie track.
18.02.22 > Playlist: Angie's KM Twisters
We haven't had a playlist in a while so today I'm sharing a guest playlist created by Angela Tester. Katie may be known for beautiful ballads but over the years she has sneaked in a fair number of foot-tappers, songs you find it hard not to move too. Granted, we're not talking breakdancing here, or even Travolta-esque dance floor dazzlers. These are just catchy numbers that make you want to have a bit of a bop. The great thing is that if, like me, you don't dance, full stop, then you can still listen to what are 15 utterly cracking tunes.
05.02.22 > Katie at the BBC Radio 2 Piano Room
Katie's sublime performance in BBC Radio 2's Piano Room yesterday is now available on BBC iPlayer for the next 29 days. Click the pic to go there. She performs "Closest Thing To Crazy", "Joy", and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". You'll be familiar with the first two but her Beatles cover is simply gorgeous. Don't miss it, who knows if she'll perform it again...
Katie also had a chat with host Ken Bruce . You can listen to that right here ⬇️
Katie at the BBC Radio 2 Piano Room
23.01.22 > Katie Bite: Maybe I Dreamt It
17.01.22 > The Detail - Episode 10
"For our final episode of Season 1 we speak with BBC radiophonic workshop composer Elizabeth Parker about working at the legendary music studios. Composing for radio and television. Witnessing the birth of electronic music. Working with some of the earliest synthesizers. Conversations with Delia Derbyshire. The realities of being a working mum and supporting women in the music industry. "
15.01.22 > Katie Returns To BBC Radio 2 Piano Room
This February, Katie will be returning to the renowned Piano Room at BBC Radio 2. Back in 2017, she performed "Fields Of Gold" and "Nine Million Bicycles" there and they were two of the best performances the room has seen–yes, I know I'm bound to say that but it is a view expressed by considerably less biased observers as well. What will she perform this time? You'll have to wait and see but if you want to be amongst the first to know then you'll need to tune in to the Ken Bruce show on Friday 4th February.
14.01.22 > Katie at Uni!
Katie is joining TORCH. No, sadly it isn't a new top secret Marvel agency like SHIELD. The Oxford Research Centre In The Humanities will be welcoming Katie as a Humanities Cultural Programme Visiting Fellow. For she's a jolly good fellow. Anyway, no point me trying to explain it all when you can read the statement for yourself:
Click the pic to go to the TORCH website.
11.01.22 > The Detail - Episode 9
"Polly Scattergood and Katie Melua talk to Musician and Songwriter Nerina Pallot about the effects of the muse.
A very honest conversation about where inspiration comes from. The mechanics of commerce and how it makes you feel a writer. What the muse is to a woman and what it is to a man..?
Who are the muses in our own lives, Hiding behind the muse to deflect what songs are really about and of course working with Kylie Minogue."
07.01.22 > The Vinyl Revival
Only 14 million CDs were sold in the UK in 2021, the lowest figure in Katie’s lifetime. Yet vinyl sales topped 5 million for thr first time since 1991. It now seems a very real possibility that at some point in the next few years, vinyl could actually outsell compact discs again. That is a miraculous turnaround for a format that at one point became virtually extinct. Now, the demand for vinyl outweighs the supply by two to one as production plants were simply not geared up for the scale of the revival. Without the production bottleneck sales might have been even closer to the ailing CD.
What is going on here? Why is this happening? How can a hundred-year-old format drag itself off the floor and start punching above its weight? After all, it is bulky, limited to 23 minutes per side and prone to all manner of pops, clicks and imperfections. Well, despite its shortcomings it does have a couple of major things in its favour. First of all, the sound, despite any imperfections, is true. As primitive as a needle in the groove sounds, it is analogue–a faithful reproduction of the original recording as compared to the digital solution of taking thousands of momentary snapshots, or samples, and gluing them all together. The theory was that if you had a high enough sample rate then digital should be virtually lossless. And yet many people who have listened to albums in both formats will tell you that vinyl simply sounds better. Something definitely does get lost, even if it is just the soul of the sound.
It isn’t only vinyl that refuses to die. People continue to prefer books to eBooks against the odds. Modern displays on phones and tablets as well as the ability to store thousands of books on a single device should have sounded a death knell for the heavy and bulky paper format but it just isn’t happening. Reading books and listening to vinyl records are both processes that resonate deeply within us–they are tactile, sensual experiences. The look, the feel, the smell and indeed the almost ritualistic experience of interacting with the physical object provides a kind of spiritual sensation that a digital book or music file can never replicate. The fact that many eBook reader apps have an animated simulation of page-turning (or skeuomorphic interface, if you want to show off) shows just how important that process is and yet in doing so they highlight how inferior the electronic experience is since a swipe of the finger on glass is far less tactile than the feel of paper between your fingertips. Books and vinyl are here to stay not because they are more convenient but rather because they are intensely more satisfying than their digital counterparts.
04.01.22 > The Detail - Episode 8
"Polly Scattergood and Katie Melua speak with inspiring Ivor Novello award winning composer musician/actor Simon Fisher Turner about Aesthetic style and judgement, Looking for authenticity, Not stepping on other people’s feet politically and geographically, Creating something moving and fresh, Securing a record deal by becoming two fictional french girls, Meeting and working with film director Derek Jarman, Artist’s observation of the world, Being married to a fellow creative and balancing family life."
02.01.22 > Review of 2021
How to sum up 2021 then? A frustrating year? Well it certainly wasn’t great, but it did have its moments. In fact, like most years, there were ups and downs. Probably the biggest down was the fact it was another year gone by with Katie not touring. I’m notoriously rubbish at gazing into crystal balls but I’m not sure you even need one to see that 2022 will likely do no better as the year begins with covid still spreading like wildfire. The problem is that planning a European tour is such a massive logistical undertaking that it needs to be done well in advance so that all the desired venues can be accommodated, but until there is some degree of certainty over the status of covid restrictions across Europe then it is difficult to even begin that planning. Typically, tickets for a tour go on sale late autumn for a tour the following autumn/winter. So even if it is deemed safe to start planning a tour later this year, the tour itself would take place in the second half of 2023. So we could be looking at between 18 months and 2 years before seeing Katie touring again. But before you get too depressed, there will likely be a number of one-off gigs and festival appearances dotted around in 2022. And potentially a new album, just to end this introduction on a bit of a high.
In January 2021 I took a decision regarding AllAboutKatie. For over three years I had made daily posts apart form a couple of small blips due to illness. That was possible mainly because of covering Katie’s extensive back catalogue. But by the end of 2020 we were pretty much up to date so new content was going to rely on either new music from Katie, news about her, or my own writing content. When I returned to full time work in early January, I decided to stop posting every day, just for the sake of it, and post only when there was something (arguably) worth posting. My aim was to make at least one post a week but I wasn’t committing myself to that–I would just see how it went. As is always the case in the early weeks of the year, Katie was flying under the radar and there was little news to report. But I’m a writer and I have lots of ideas. Some are good, most are rubbish. One day early in January, I had a good one. I’d used Katie as a role model for a character in my writing before but this time I was going to turn her squeaky-clean image on its head! I’d been thinking about the frankly ludicrous theory in which there are an infinite number of parallel universes and anything you can think of will happen in one of them. Since the only side of Katie we get to see is the side she wants us to see, I imagined a parallel universe where behind that pretty face and gorgeous voice there was a right monkey of a girl. A mischievous, Minnie the Minx type of character constantly plotting, scheming and generally causing trouble. My instant thought was to call her Bad Katie. And the moment I did that, she appeared in my head as if she was a real person I’d met. That happens with all the best characters and I knew I was going to have a lot of fun with her. I started with a silly title, “The Fish Song”, and just started writing. The episode poured out as though Bad Katie were writing it herself, channelling through my fingers on the keyboard. It was done in about an hour. On the 17th January, I posted it on AAK. I was a little concerned that calling her Bad Katie would seem to some fans as though I was having a dig at her in some way. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth–you don’t invest nearly five years of your life (and a fair amount of money) into a web site about someone unless you have nothing but respect and admiration for them. But humour is in my DNA and I was careful to stress that Bad Katie isn’t our Katie but a version of Katie in another universe. That holds true for all the characters in the stories–no fun is made of people in the real world, only in the alternate one.
Bad Katie has been well-received. People have enjoyed it who don’t particularly know much about the real Katie but obviously it is so much more fun for those that do. Much of the humour lies in the fact that Bad Katie gets up to so many things, and says so many things, that seem so utterly at odds with the Katie we know and love that you can’t help musing “what if she was like that”. Episode 2 was posted just four days later and I quickly decided she was so much fun to write I wanted to post weekly episodes for as long as I could. It would turn out to be 4 months before I decided to give her, and myself, a break.
Three weeks into January, Katie posted a video on Instagram of her playing from home, a gorgeous rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice”. After two more episodes of Bad Katie, the month ended with Katie treating us to another delightful home performance and another Dylan song, “Girl From The North Country”.
February brought another 4 episodes of Bad Katie and another home performance from Katie, this time it was The Beatles’ “Blackbird”. If you missed any of these little video gems you can find them by delving into the archives of AllAboutKatie, which are always available at the bottom of the home page.
Katie got March off to a cracking start for us with a home video of her performing “Althea” by The Grateful Dead. Indeed. Later in the month she treated us to a performance of Donovan’s “Deep Peace”. Katie is like a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get. Meanwhile, Bad Katie had another 4 adventures during the month.
April was a quiet month in Katieland with nothing to report from the lady herself other than a gig alert on the last day of the month. There were 3 more tales from BadKatieland. She disappeared for a well-earned holiday after that but promised me she’d return later in the year…
May and June were a little frustrating, with some tour dates being announced in Germany and others having to be put back to 2022 due to the persistent covid issues. There was also news of an acoustic gig on the Isle of Wight in July. There was little else happening.
During July and August we were treated to a couple more of Katie’s home performances and she actually got to perform in front of a crowd at last for the Robin Hill Woodland Sessions on the Isle of Wight in July. In August, a limited edition of Ultimate Collection was announced on silver vinyl.
In September, Katie managed to play a couple of gigs in Germany, which was amazing for all concerned, and she also teased us about an upcoming announcement with her friend Polly Scattergood. That would turn out to be “The Detail” podcast.
Early October saw Katie moving into a new studio, where, hopefully, amazing new things will happen. But the big news really was the announcement of a new album, or at least a re-imagined one, in the form of Acoustic Album No. 8. This was exciting news indeed for anyone that had heard her perform some of those tracks from home. It was also revealed that Katie was in the all time top 30 female artists album chart, with Call Off The Search hitting number 25, one place above Eva Cassidy’s Songbird. At the end of the month we were treated to some live performances as part of the Other Voices live event from the Irish Embassy in London. Katie was accompanied by her brother Zurab and violinist Simon Goff. October also saw the return of Bad Katie, raring to go with some new adventures.
November was an eventful month. Katie and Polly launched their podcast “The Detail”, with weekly instalments every Monday. Even better news was the release of Acoustic Album No. 8, which was even better than we’d dared hope and for some better than the studio version, which is saying something.
December saw more episodes of “The Detail” and one or two live performances from Katie as she promoted the new album in Germany. Finally, to close the year out, there was a Christmas Special adventure for Bad Katie.
All in all, a fairly eventful beginning and end to the year with some rather quiet summer months sandwiched in the middle. Right then, let’s see what 2022 has to offer…
01.01.22 > Happy New Year!
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