G Live, Guildford
A capacity G Live audience was entranced by a performance of sheer beauty by Katie Melua with the Gori Women’s Choir.
The Georgian-British singer songwriter found fame at the age of 19 with her 2003 debut album Call Off The Search.
She began on stage alone with a haunting Georgian folk song, then Plane Song with her guitarist brother. The rest of her band of keyboards, bass and drums joined her for Belfast (Penguins and Cats), a song about her home city from the age of eight when her family moved from Georgia to the UK in the aftermath of the Georgian Civil War, before moving to London and then Surrey.
With an animation video on a backdrop filling the G Live stage she continued with her hit Nine Million Bicycles.
For several years Melua has been singing and touring with the Gori Women’s Choir from Georgia, having made the album Winter together in 2016. The 16-strong choir came onstage for River, a track from the album, with soaring vocals filling the auditorium.
Dreams On Fire followed, and a then a festive O Holy Night. Melua ended part one of the show with a solo version of Diamonds are Forever, showcasing her vocal ability, not with the power and bluster of Shirley Bassey but with purity, emotion and fragile beauty.
After the break Melua and the choir delivered a stunning version of The Little Swallow, also known as Carol Of The Bells.
I Cried For You with powerful backing vocals from the choir prefaced The Closest Thing To Crazy and she closed with It’s A Wonderful World.
Melua’s voice is crystal clear and mesmerising. Backed by the choir this was a concert to remember.