Former Blame Jack singer Katie Meehan took her first baby steps towards a solo career with a set at Chalk Farm’s eminent Monkey Chews. The popular musical hangout boasts a relaxed atmosphere which perfectly reflected Meehan’s simplistic set. Joined on stage by a sole guitarist, Jason Newton, who still plays with Blame Jack, Meehan relaxed into her set which revolved around new material and interesting cover versions.
Meehan is a versatile consummate performer spreading her wings and about to take flight.
Though a little shaky to begin with, the audience were truly on her side. Bringing to the fore a sense of comic timing and humility, Meehan uttered her ‘Hellos’ briefly. Sharing vocals with Newton on new song “What Did You Just Say?”, Meehan appeared hesitant as she took baby steps to her new stripped down styling. Gone are the secure days of joint harmonies with Matilda Smith and Meehan seemed unsure of her new role. However, the audience egged her on with whoops and Meehan soon fell into her stride. Her stunning jazz tinged vocal set against a simple guitar strum was simply captivating and within three minutes, Meehan had the audience in her hands.
Better was still to come. Set closer, a cover version of Neil Young’s “Birds”, was a real risk. Meehan more than rose to the challenge and got lost in the lyrics. With closed eyes, her soulful rendition was pure magic. As Meehan took her bow, it seemed that both she and the audience wanted more.
A solo step may have been too far for Meehan, with a move from folk to soul, but she more than rose to the challenge on her debut outing. She is a versatile consummate performer spreading her wings and about to take flight, it will be interesting to see what her final destination will be.