Guest post from Juliet
The house gig with Brooke Sharkey and Adam Beattie was the first I’d attended. It was everything I’d hoped it would be, and very much more. After a wonderful pizza (home-made with the quality, quantity and production-line professionalism one would not normally find outside a restaurant kitchen) we all sat down on Katie’s living room floor with glasses of wine and high expectations. On the “stage” area by the bay window stood Brooke, with a guitar, and Adam with a double bass. We fell silent and they began.
There is something about the sound of a double bass that is like a swift punch to the very soul. The stripped down beauty of Brooke’s whispery vocals against the dark heartbeats of the bass prodded at emotions the audience didn’t even know it had. My linguistic skills are hopeless at best, yet even when the lyrics were in fluent French – approximately half of Brooke Sharkey’s set – the combination of ethereal sound and heartfelt performance filled my wine-drenched consciousness with such empathy that, finding myself perpetually on the verge of tears of joy and tears of sorrow, I lost track of the fact I had no idea what on earth she was singing about.
Adam Beattie’s set, during which he switched to vocal and guitar and Sharkey took on the double bass, was no less powerful. Where she played the cut-glass folk chanteuse, his style of folk was masterfully tinged with blues and dark humour, and the combination of both performers, swapping roles and instruments as they went, created an alchemy that would be hard to capture on tape or film. The intimacy of the living room just added to the intensity of the experience.
I would passionately recommend buying the music of both Brooke Sharkey and Adam Beattie, even more so seeing them play live. And if you are ever lucky enough to be invited to visit Katie’s front room for future gigs, I recommend you go. Music, atmosphere, company and pizza get full marks from me, and I look forward to the next one.