"A lot of the biggest and best times I've had have been when I'm playing in Newcastle"
The wonderfully talented Kathryn Williams is heading to the North East. The singer-songwriter starts her UK tour later this month, so I caught up with her for a chat on behalf of NE Volume Magazine ahead of her upcoming gig at The Sage in Gateshead.
You’re heading to the lovely Sage in Gateshead on Tuesday 17th September, can you tell us a little about what fans can expect from your set?
I’m excited ‘cause it will be the first night of the tour and it feels good to start it off that way. A lot of the biggest and best times I've had have been when I'm playing in Newcastle, when I first played The Sage I just felt like I had made it! It’s good to be back.
You’ve got such a mass, eclectic body of work spanning across 20 years, does it make it difficult to select setlists or do you prefer to play what you feel suits the ambience of the evening?
It’s kinda working out how to show a box set off really as that’s around 20 years worth of music. I never used to use setlists, but I think that was a big part of why I used to have panic attacks and blackouts on stage!
I think at this time it’s got to be my personal favourites or songs that mean a lot to me that I want to share with the audience, and always be prepared for any requests!
Over the years you’ve worked with many other amazing artists including Teesside’s own Paul Smith. Have you any favoured stand out collaborations or ‘wow’ moments, so to speak?
Yes! I sang on a John Martin album once and spent time on tour and in the studio with him, I was a big fan so that was pretty special. Sometimes I pinch myself when I've got friends in music reaching out to me, like getting a really nice text from Paul Weller or Chris Difford, people who are legends and at the top of their game but are fans of mine and respect my music, it’s really nice.
Throughout your career, what have you found to be your deepest inspiration when songwriting, do you focus better when in a certain mood or location?
Well, because I do a lot with other artists around the world the inspiration comes from the writing sessions I have. I teach songwriting in Scotland once a year, people have workshops in songwriting just to open them up. They’ve become something really special to me, meeting people who dedicate a week of their life to creating and making music, they unfold and beautiful songs are the result.