Katie Von Schleicher // Brudenell Social Club, Leeds // 8.11.2017
Much like her latest album, Shitty Hits, Maryland singer-songwriter Katie Von Schleicher’s live set meandered through soaring highs and dark lows. Accompanied by guitarist Adam Brisbin, and equipped with only a guitar and a synth machine herself, it was hard to imagine how they would successfully pull off some of the more grandiose songs of her discography. However, with hugely passionate performances from both, they managed to provide an incredibly enticing and captivating thirty-minute set.
Supporting Big Thief was no easy task for the duo, especially with the band recently releasing their widely acclaimed album Capacity. It’s fair to say that expectations were set high. But with the strong performances given, it was hard for the audience not to be charmed by the two by the end of their set. They began with some of Von Schleicher’s most upbeat and accessible songs to allow the room to have an introduction to their sound. ‘Paranoia’ gave way to some of the most melodic and grand moments, whilst simultaneously showing Von Schleicher’s vocal range and power; her voice filling the room and stealing the spotlight.
Although, this isn’t to say that Brisbin didn’t enthral with his performance. In fact, it was arguably some of the most energetic and passionate guitar playing I’ve seen in recent memory. He really shone through during the song ‘Midsummer’, featuring a gentle opening followed by a burst of colourful chords which, accompanied by his almost frantic playing, made for an enjoyable experience. In fact, his performance was so intense that at one point, he broke a string and had to run backstage, so the audience were treated to a solo from Von Schleicher, a new song she’d never performed before.
The most interesting moments were when the duo played ‘Nothing’, which features gloomy guitars and the repeated refrain “I can’t feel nothing at all” This was then followed by ‘Life’s a Lie’, which with its infectious rhythm, and opening line “I want to do something nice for you” provided for an interesting juxtaposition – a reminder of just how versatile their sound is.