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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!!








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31.03.19   >   Golden Camera Awards

Here's the video of Katie performing "What A Wonderful World" with pianist Lang Lang (thought that was in my shower gel) at the Golden Camera Awards in Germany last night. It is the most sublime musicianship from both of them, just a shame some geezer keeps prattling on in German.
(By the way Katie, that wonderful American actress was Jessica Chastain. She's awesome. She was in that film. 🤣)

30.03.19   >   Katie Bite: Sometimes When I'm Dreaming

Sometimes When I'm Dreaming'

29.03.19   >   Cap Roig Festival

Katie will be performing in Spain on 3rd August at the Cap Roig Festival.

Cap Roig Festival

28.03.19   >   Lyric card: Red Balloons 🎈🎈

Red Balloons

27.03.19   >   Golden Camera 2019

On Saturday, Katie will perform "What A Wonderful World" at the Golden Camera awards show in Germany. She will be joined by legendary pianist Lang Lang. The text in the image below is translated by Google from German so may not be 100% accurate — I very much doubt Lang Lang (not sure which of those is his first name) will be singing along with Katie so it isn't so much a duet but rather he is accompanying her. But hey, I could be wrong, maybe Mr Lang does fancy channelling his inner Louis Armstrong. Of course, Katie can play the piano too so maybe she'll sit beside him and play the treble notes while Lang Lang plays the bass. They could encore with "Chopsticks".

26.03.19   >   Track Notes 45: Tiny Alien 👽

Album:  

Writer(s)

Katie Melua & Guy Chambers

Length:

4:36

Trivia:

Fans who took to Katie because of "Closest Thing To Crazy" might have thought she'd gone crazy and turned into an alien when they heard this song. But it is a gorgeous little gem of a song, catchy yet poignant. I've yet to come across an explanation of the meaning but I've discussed it with my imaginary cat and we are close to formulating a theory (I'm assuming Katie hasn't actually captured a miniscule visitor from another world.)
The phrase "who are you my tiny alien" is delivered in such a way it sounds like a nod to the iconic musical sequence from "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind".

Producer William Orbit plays kalimba (African thumb piano) on this track. Yeah, that is true trivia.

YouTube:

Here's a rare live version on YouTube.
Tiny Alien (live)

Lyrics:

 Tiny Alien 

25.03.19   >   The Planet Baggers

Look, I know this site is supposed to be all about Katie, but I couldn't resist having a little plug of my new book, The Planet Baggers. Anyway, it was Katie that inspired me to follow the path of indie author. If you liked Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy or Red Dwarf then you might like it 😀

The Planet Baggers on Amazon UK

25.03.19   >   churchkhela    ჩურჩხელა

Churchkhela is a wonderful Georgian sweet treat. It has nothing to do with churches. It is basically nuts on a string dipped repeatedly in sticky grape juice. You can find out more at How to make churchkhela. Or go to Georgia and try it for yourself.

24.03.19   >   Lyric card: A Moment Of Madness

23.03.19   >   Another update on Katie's online store

Order arrived in under 24 hours! Kontraband stores gets a definite thumbs up 👍

23.03.19   >   B-Sides...

Just a reminder that if you haven't got B-Sides: The Tracks That Got Away yet then you are missing a real treat. It is inexplicable to me why this gem of an album is not available on CD. Equally inexplicable is it's complete lack of mention on Katie's Wikipedia entry. But fear ye not! I have options for you...

👉 Listen to it on Spotify — B-Sides on Spotify
👉 Buy mp3 or stream on Amazon — B-Sides on Amazon
👉 Or search for it on iTunes, where it is also available.

How wonderful is that outfit btw? You might recognise it from the little 'Stop It!' meme in the panel on the right...

22.03.19   >   ** Update: Katie's online store **

Katie's online store is now open again. It had been gone for over a week. The reason appears to be it has been moved to a different mall 😁
Previously, it was handled by tmstores.com whereas now it is on the kontrabandstores.com website. The reasons behind the move are none of our business but please note if you had an account with Katie's store previously it won't be valid any longer — you can purchase as a guest or set up a new account with Kontraband. The range of merch hasn't changed much but the 2018 Tour Tee shirts are now available, and they are lovely. Sadly, the Tote Bags aren't, which were equally as lovely. I've done a little shopping so we'll see what the service is like. I have to say, my experiences with tmstores were not great so hopefully this new development is for the better!

Update: items despatched same day! Already much better than previous store.

22.03.19   >   Katie Bite: Halfway Up The Hindu Kush

21.03.19   >   Track Notes 44: Red Balloons 🎈🎈

Album:  

Writer(s)

Katie Melua & Polly Scattergood

Length:

4:20

Trivia:

Katie and Polly are good friends and after this beautiful song it begs the question why they haven't written more together. But that's for them to know and us to wonder.

YouTube:

Here's a great live version on YouTube.
Red Balloons (live)

Guitar Chords:

Red Balloons chords

Lyrics:

 Red Balloons 

20.03.19   >   Diamonds Are Forever performance

I try not to embed Instagram posts any more since they slow down the page loading but I couldn't resist this nice little Instagram video of Katie performing Diamonds Are Forever at the recent TheOtherSongs event in London.

View this post on Instagram

This was magic. Honouring the genius lyricist Don Black and composer John Barry, @katiemeluaofficial performing “Diamonds Are Forever”, originally sung by Shirley Bassey in 1971 for the title song of the James Bond film. Katie’s voice is so beautiful we could listen to her all day.. thank you, Katie ⭐️

A post shared by The Other Songs (@theothersongs) on

19.03.19   >   Lyric card: A Happy Place

18.03.19   >   Katie Bite: Heartstrings

17.03.19   >   Odds and Shuffles

I use shuffle mode a lot when listening to music. I guess it adds a bit of mystery and suspense. But having the inquiring mind that I do I got to thinking about chance and randomness. It occurred to me that if the shuffle mode of your music player is programmed to be truly random (which isn't technically possible for a computer but can effectively be achieved with various techniques) then in theory you could press "shuffle play" on an album and have it play in correct album order. The real mindblower is that the chance of that happening is equal to any other combination you care to name. This is just the nature of randomness — the "correct order" is just a pattern like any other. For example, the sequence of balls 1,2,3,4,5,6 is as likely to be drawn in the National Lottery as any. If that were to happen, people would go into meltdown and wail about satanic forces but there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn't happen.

So, here's another mindblower — if you listen to an album in shuffle mode every time you are unlikely to hear the same track order twice. Let's work through the logic here: say you choose In Winter. It has 10 tracks, so the first track played can be any one of 10. The second track can be any one 9, the third any of 8, and so on. Maths has a handy shortcut for this called factorial, represented by an exclamation mark. So the permutations (permutations and combinations are subtly different things but lets not get into that) for playing In Winter are 10! — which is 3,628,800. In other words, each order of playing the album has about 1 in 3.6 million chance, therefore the chances of you hearing the same pattern twice are pretty low. But again, true randomness actually means you are just as likely to hear a play order you heard last time as a different one. That's a concept people really struggle with. If you toss a coin 50 times in a row and get heads each time the 51st throw will still be a 50-50 chance of a tail. "Must be due a tail soon" doesn't come into it.

By now I'm guessing you are either fascinated or fast asleep. Anyway, soldiering on, factorials become silly numbers pretty quickly. For example, Ultimate Collection contains 36 tracks. I can almost guarantee you will never hear that album shuffled the same way twice since 36! is 3.72 e41 — or 372 with 39 noughts after it. As for my Katie playlist with over a hundred songs on it, well I don't even want to imagine what a stupendously ridiculous number of permutations there are shuffling that but if you imagine every human being that ever lived shuffling that playlist every day of their lives and no two ever getting the same sequence, well that's the kind of territory we're into now. And that is probably where we should leave it before our brains melt. Sorry if this post has been a bit random. Right, I think I need a drink.

16.03.19   >   Katie does Dylan: Blowin' In The Wind

I just love it when Katie tackles a classic. And nails it of course. Gorgeous stuff. Great to see the legendary Henry Spinetti on the drums and you might also recognise Justin Sandercoe whose online guitar tutorials are the place to go if you've ever fancied having a stab at wire-plucking yourself. Not sure exactly when this was but with that line-up it's certainly a good few years ago.

15.03.19   >   Track Notes 43: A Moment Of Madness

Album:  

Writer(s)

Katie Melua & Guy Chambers

Length:

3:47

Trivia:

Someone had a go at interpreting the meaning of this song. I'm saying nothing.
A Moment Of Madness on SongMeanings.com

YouTube:

Here's a live concert version complete with full orchestra backing.
A Moment Of Madness (live)

Guitar Chords:

A Moment Of Madness chords

Lyrics:

 A Moment Of Madness 

14.03.19   >   The Other Songs

Katie at an The Other Songs event last night. Always trying to learn more about songwriting. She reminds me of the scene in Star Trek Insurrection where Picard marvels at the work of artisans serving a 30-year apprenticeship. I guess Katie is about half-way through hers then 🤩

(images from @katiemeluaofficial)

14.03.19   >   Track notes update

Track notes are now available by clicking on the song title within an album page (or at least, the ones that have been created so far). I'm doing them in chronological album order and am currently on The House. Call Off The Search, Piece By Piece and Pictures are done. I post them at the rate of about one a week, so if you're waiting to get info on Diamonds Are Forever I would recommend hibernating for around six months.

13.03.19   >   Katie Bite: The One I Love Is Gone

12.03.19   >   When You Taught Me How To Dance

Beatrix Potter. Dancing. The Lake District. Katie Melua.
These were four of my mum's very favourite things. And they all came together in the song "When You Taught Me How To Dance" from the film "Miss Potter". It stills weighs heavy on my heart that mum passed before Katie recorded the song, but one thing of which I have no doubt is that it would have been her favourite song of all time. It couldn't have been any better if it had been written especially for her, so much so that it wouldn't surprise me if she pulled a few strings up in heaven to make it all happen. Naturally, it is one of my favourites too since I listen to it through mum's ears and imagine the joy it would have given her.

"Cold winds blow but up on those hills you'll find me,
and I know you're walking right behind me."

Here's a charming video of it...

12.03.19   >   katiemelua.com

I continue to be dismayed and frustrated by Katie's official web site. Whoever is maintaining it has zero passion for Katie or her music. As of writing, her store appears to have disappeared — the link takes you to a page offering you merchandise for other artists instead, such as Rick Astley. Thanks. But no thanks.

Also, the site is s...l....o...w... You are often left with a blank white screen for what feels like an eternity. Sometimes your browser just gives up.

There are still plenty of mistakes in the lyrics pages.

It was new 11 years ago.

From what???

Even more criminal is the complete lack of information regarding her latest album, Ultimate Collection. Any casual fan visiting the site wouldn't know it existed.

In short it is a mess. There's very little content and is clearly a case of style over substance. But in this impatient world we live in nobody waits around for pages to load anymore; if nothing happens in a couple of seconds or so they are gone. Let's get one thing straight — this is not Katie's fault. I'd lay that on her management company ATC who have farmed the site out to some web development company that seem happy to do as little work as they can get away with. I have spoken to Katie about the site but at the end of the day she just wants to make music; it is down to ATC to up their game and crack the whip with these guys, or find a new developer. Frankly, I find it unfathomable that a major artist can be so poorly represented on the web. An artist's web site is the first port of call for their fans and normally the go-to place for news, events, discography etc. It is where you expect to be able to find accurate and up-to-date information without having to subscribe to one of the social media bandwagons. A web site is also a shop window and the first thing you expect to find is details of the latest album release. Katie's home page has a massive picture of her taken from Ultimate Collection but no wording to explain that to those who don't know, and there is no mention of the album on her music page. Utterly baffling, and beyond comprehension: if I'd been hired to maintain such a high-profile artist's site it would be a matter of personal pride to make it the very best it could be. * sigh *
If you want to see how an indie artist web site should look have a peek at nilslofgren.com — it is up-to-date, relevant and full of information for fans to devour. And when you click on something things happen right away.

I don't normally like to rant about stuff but I care about Katie (you may have noticed) and a sub-par web site reflects badly on her. She deserves so much better. But on the bright side, if you are reading this then clearly you have found All About Katie. This IS a site run with passion so keep it bookmarked if you want to stay informed about our favourite singer/songwriter. The only thing I can't do here is sell you her merchandise. The store section is run through a separate company so it isn't clear what exactly is going on there at the moment. We can only hope that the issue gets resolved soon.

11.03.19   >   Lyric card: The Flood

kl_flood

10.03.19   >   That's just wrong...

09.03.19   >   Dark Mode

Just a reminder that you can view this site in jaw-dropping technicolor dark mode simply by making the monumental effort of clicking the little button under the blog banner, which I have helpfully labelled "The Dark Side". I honestly don't know how I have survived all these years without dark modes in my life. When I see this site in light mode now I involuntarily emit a little shriek like a mouse that stepped on a (very tiny) plug.

NB: If you click the button and darkness does not descend this is usually because your browser is trying to be a clever-clogs. You need to do a forced refresh. In Windows hold down the ctrl key while you click the page reload button (or ctrl + F5). On a Mac it is shift + reload (or cmd + shift + R). This should do the trick in most browsers.

09.03.19   >   CJF Wish List

As I count down the days to Katie’s gig at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival I can’t help musing about what her set will be like, given that it is a jazz festival. As with any festival, the audience will not comprise purely of the artist’s own fans but will contain plenty of curious festival-goers looking for a new experience. And Katie’s set list will be designed with that in mind. It seems likely that the focus will be on her earlier material, in particular the more jazz and blues songs but really the only albums I see struggling to get a look in are Pictures and In Winter. There’s also the possibility of Katie covering an old standard that she hasn’t done before. Something like “Summertime” would be sure to go down well. Anyway, here is my wish list — if I get half of these I’ll be as chuffed as a bald coot in a sleeping bag. Fortunately, there’s one thing Katie is absolutely useless at: disappointing me with her song choices. She sucks at that. Never managed it once in all these years. So I’m confident I’ll have a great night come what may. Now then, there’s a thought — Come What May. A duet with Gregory Porter?


	Learnin’ The Blues
	Stardust
	Call Off The Search
	On The Road Again
	Somewhere In The Same Hotel
	Mockingbird Song
	Blues In The Night
	Shiver And Shake
	Lilac Wine
	Piece By Piece
	Blue Shoes
	The One I Love Is Gone
	Deep Purple
	Fancy
	Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
	The Closest Thing To Crazy
	Summertime
	​

08.03.19   >   Katie vs Sammy Davis Jr

Actually, this isn’t a fight. Sammy is no longer with us so it would be a bit one-sided anyway. But it is an opportunity to compare and contrast two of the greatest interpreters of song that have ever graced our little blue marble. (Katie isn’t comfortable with praise but when you’re so damned talented sometimes you just gotta suck it up.)

So what we have here are two tracks from the Great American Songbook (GAS?) — Deep Purple and Blues In The Night — that have both been recorded by Katie and by the legendary Sammy Davis Jr. Now, I understand that lesser dinosaurs than yours truly might be saying “who he?”. Well, Google away. And check out a track called “I’ve Gotta Be Me” — if that doesn’t make your skin tingle you’re probably one of those aliens rumoured to be among us. Sammy was a great friend of Frank Sinatra (and if you need to Google him I suggest you leave this site now and bugger off back to your PlayStation), and for some of us he was at least as good as ‘ol blue eyes.

Both of these songs are given respect by the artists in terms of the arrangement so you can actually tell they are the same songs. Which means the real differences are subtleties in interpretation. It’s wonderful to listen to them both and make your own comparisons. Of course, I’m not going to declare a winner — as I said, it isn’t a contest. (That wouldn’t be fair anyway since Katie would never lose any competition in which I was the judge.) If anything, everyone’s a winner; Katie, Sammy and anyone who listens to their music. So go ahead and click on the little play buttons and see what you think. They are only portions of the songs, not the full thing so if you like what you hear go and buy the full versions. Actually, you should already own Katie’s tracks and if you don’t I’m very disappointed in you.

P.S. Sammy also recorded a great version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Carmen MacRae. Katie's version with Nick Schilder can be found on YouTube but isn't available on CD or download.

07.03.19   >   Track Notes 42: A Happy Place

Cover

Album:  

Writer(s)

Katie Melua & Guy Chambers

Length:

3:29

Released:

26th July 2010 (CD), 23rd July 2010 (DD)

Trivia:

Katie told Digital Spy "It's strange 2010 pop inspired by Sparks, David Bowie and Queen. It begins by looking around at the materialistic world we live in and trying to see beyond it without any judgment. It's ultimately about trying to gain some freedom."

In the video Katie wears a rather amazing hat. She told Digital Spy it "was made especially for me by a milliner called Piers Atkinson. I try and get involved with the styling and stuff as much as they allow me."

CD tracks

1. A Happy Place
2. A Happy Place (Sparks vs Katie Melua)

Digital Download

1. A Happy Place
2. A Happy Place (Robbie Rivera's Juicy Ibiza Mix)
3. A Happy Place (Loverush UK Mix)
4. A Happy Place (Danny Kirsch Mix)
5. A Happy Place (Beatnoids Mix)
6. A Happy Place (Product01mix)
7. A Happy Place (Sparks vs Katie Melua)

Lyrics:

 A Happy Place 

06.03.19   >   Katie in Poland

Katie was in Poland yesterday for an interview and performance on breakfast tv. She is very popular there, as she is in most European countries. Here are a couple of pics from her Instagram account of her chatting and performing Plane Song.

05.03.19   >   Katie Bite: The Walls Of The World

04.03.19   >   In Winter vinyl — WAV downloads

As I was replacing my In Winter vinyl sleeve the other day it encountered resistance. Upon further investigation of the problem the little card pictured below dropped out. It contains a code so that you can download the digital version of In Winter from Katie's web site. Now I had no idea this was part of the vinyl package; it seems an undocumented bonus. Of course, it could be there was a sticker on the cellophane that initially wrapped the album but that was ripped off and discarded within a microsecond of me holding IW in my eager mitts. It's possible the same story may apply to other Ketefans too — which is why I'm mentioning it. The thing is, I already have IW in digital format through iTunes and Amazon, as well as two copies of the CD. So having the downloads available with the vinyl simply hadn't occurred to me. But they are still worth downloading. Why? Oh, sorry, I thought I heard you ask. Anyway, the thing is, the download versions are in WAV format. I know! How awesome is that! What do you mean, so? They are uncompressed, lossless audio files. Which means you can do what you like with them. You can convert them into mp3 and stick them on your phone, you can load them into Audacity and try fiddling with reverb and all manner of other funky effects (assuming you've nothing better to do than make Katie sound like a chipmunk on helium). Or you can just listen to them in all their pristine lossless audiophile glory, which may make up for only having one arm and one leg after having sold the others to buy Bang & Olufsen kit. I'm wondering if there hasn't been much take up on the downloads since there's no little card tucked inside the Ultimate Collection sleeve. But it was a lovely idea. In Winter is the gift that keeps on giving.

03.03.19   >   Katie's breathing tips 😁

Last year, BBC Breakfast ran a little montage of singing advice from the likes of Gregory Porter, Alfie Boe and Katie. Here are Katie's two sections spliced together. She is giving Naga Munchetty tips on how to breathe properly.

02.03.19   >   Eva Cassidy Acoustic

eva cassidy acoustic

A couple of weeks ago I talked about my desire to see Katie do an acoustic album. To give you an idea of why I suggest you listen to this acoustic album from one of Katie's idols, Eva Cassidy. I love nothing more in this world than listening to Katie with just her guitar — think Fields Of Gold for Children In Need. Then think of an entire album like that.

If Eva Cassidy Acoustic doesn't blow you away you may be lacking a pulse. And I know an acoustic Katie album would have the same effect.

01.03.19   >   Track Notes 41: The Flood

Album:  

Writer(s)

Katie Melua, Guy Chambers, Lauren Christy

Length:

3:40

Released:

24th May 2010 (CD), 17th May 2010 (DD)

Trivia:

A stunning adventure of a song. The dizzying video with Katie playing piano on a platform being spun around by hunks was directed by Kevin Godley (who some may remember from the band 10CC). Godley also directed the video for Nine Million Bicycles.

CD tracks

1. The Flood
2. The One I Love Is Gone

Digital Download

1. The Flood (radio edit)
2. The Flood (Danny Kirsch Radio Edit)
3. The Flood (Michael Woods Remix)
4. The Flood (Jakwob Remix)
5. The Flood Aid (DJ Vata Mashup)

UK Singles Chart:

35

Lyrics:

 The Flood 



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