Singer/songwriter Katie Melua’s culture fix
PUBLISHED: 13:10 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:10 23 November 2016
Multi award-winning recording artist Katie Melua comes to G Live, Guildford, later this month as part of her winter tour with the Gori Women’s Choir. Although she now lives in London, she was based for many years in Redhill and is a former student of The Brit School in Croydon. Here, we find out her favourite cultural haunts...
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2016
If I want to go to the cinema I… try to find a traditional cinema with comfy seats, like the one near us in Barnes. It used to be an old music studio called the Olympic Studios but was converted back into a cinema and is now the heart of the whole village. I’m not a fan of romantic comedy unless it’s Woody Allen, but I’m quite partial to a bit of sci-fi or a historical drama on a figure I’m interested in.
The last film I saw was… That was Café Society by Woody Allen; it’s a classic Woody Allen, which was exactly what I was hoping for, but the music in it stole the show for me. Set in the ‘20s and ‘30s, there are some very authentic jazz bar scenes with musicians on stage. It really helps to transport you back in time to what I imagine the atmosphere used to be like in LA and New York during that period.
For my theatre fix… I like to have a show recommended by a friend. I love the ballet and plays, especially ones by production companies that are experimental. I remember being blown away by the first immersive plays that Punchdrunk put on in abandoned factories in London back in the mid-noughties.
If I get a chance to go to a concert… I like seeing up-and-coming musicians in smaller venues. I also enjoy going to rock gigs. I loved seeing The Black Keys in Brixton and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and of course enjoy seeing the band that my husband is in, Toseland.
I’m currently reading… Hoagy Carmichael’s biography. He’s one of my favourite songwriters and wrote Georgia on my Mind and Stardust. His story begins in Indiana in 1899 and I’m up to the part where’s he’s living in New York in the 1930s.
The last time I went to my local library was… a few weeks ago. I love hanging out at the library; I find it very inspiring and if I had all the time in the world that’s where I’d spend every minute.
At home I’m most likely to be listening to… the Mishima soundtrack by Philip Glass, especially if I’m packing to fly somewhere as I usually need to be packing quicker. That album is a great alternative and additive to caffeine.
Whereas in the car, I’m most likely to be listening to… Bill Withers. His songs are basically sunshine in audio- waves. Very handy in Britain.
The TV programme that I never miss is… Girls. It’s funny and feels very real – especially when it comes to relationships, friendships and career dilemmas for the young generation growing up now.
My favourite cultural event in Surrey is... There are so many to choose from but, for now, it would have to be my forthcoming show at G Live in Guildford where I will also be joined on stage by the 23-piece Gori Women’s Choir from Georgia where I was born. Masters of the ancient Georgian tradition of polyphonic singing, they are a completely unique vocal orchestra. Working with them has been so inspiring and I am immensely looking forward to performing with them across the UK and Europe this winter.
• Katie Melua and the Gori Women’s Choir perform at G Live on Wednesday November 23 at 7.30pm. Together they will perform new material from Melua’s forthcoming recording project as well as a selection of classic songs from her six-album catalogue. Box office: 01483 369350. Web: glive.co.uk. Follow Katie on Twitter at @katiemelua
More about Katie