Catherine Ireton – What Is It About That Night?

It seems like it’s only been a matter of weeks since Catherine Ireton played the last of her four Treasure Tracks gigs which lead us through the backstage warren behind the Dome before playing an intimate gig in the Corn Exchange. This month Catherine returns and is going backstage again, this time to the Theatre Royal.

As with Treasure Tracks, What Is It About That Night? isn’t a straightforward gig. Rather than take to the stage in the Theatre Royal, Catherine will be performing in the dressing rooms and other backstage areas – parts of the theatre not normally seen by the public. And rather than a normal performance where there’s a clear distinction between artist and audience, Catherine is collaborating with Brighton based theatre company Root Experience to make the night more interactive.

Catherine Ireton

Catherine Ireton

What Is It About That Night is on at the Theatre Royal on 17th and 24th of January. Tickets are £10 and are available from the Theatre Royal Box Office, Resident Records or online

Brighton Music Blog Advent Calendar / Day 15 / Catherine Ireton

It was sheer good luck that we found out about Belle & Sebastian collaborator Catherine Ireton. She’d moved down to Brighton around eighteen months ago and had kept quite a low profile, but some eagle eyes on twitter spotted a mention of a local designer reworking her website and passed the news onto me. An afternoon set at The Great Escape confirmed that the big voice heard on God Help The Girl was just as big when she was playing on her own. In June Catherine kicked off a series of concerts intended to make the audience make a bit more effort in return for something a bit more intimate. The Treasure Tracks gig were real highlights for us, and we look forward to seeing what Catherine has up her sleeve in 2013.

Catherine Ireton

Catherine Ireton

 

Catherine Ireton / Treasure Tracks #4

This Saturday saw Catherine Ireton’s fourth and final Treasure Tracks gig. Her previous mystery excursions have involved a little bit of a hunt, but this time around we really were sent on a wild goose chase, not only to get hold of tickets but also to get to the final location.

The first clue was a picture posted online of the red phone boxes on Trafalgar Street, with a number to dial. I went to the phone boxes – one was out of order, the other only accepted credit cards, neither smelled great. I stepped out into the fresh air to dial the number only to get a recorded message telling me to look up for the first clue. That sent me off to one of two record shops to hunt down a Prince album which contained the next clue. The onto Resident where the final clue could be exchanged for a ticket to the gig, which just told me to turn up to the George IV statue at 8.15 on Friday night…

Fast forward to a cold drizzly night, and a group of around twenty or thirty people congregate near the North End of Pavilion Gardens. The event was put on in conjunction with Source New Music, and Bex – who introduces their regular evenings (and does all the hard work pulling most of it together) – popped up to lead us to the location of the concert. Through the stage door round the back of the Dome, down some stairs and through some 17th century tunnels (which now lead off to dressing rooms). Then back up some stairs, past a rarely used museum entrance, and somehow into the bar at the Dome, where we stop off to buy a drink before being led through the Corn Exchange and into their foyer area where a stage had been set up and Catherine and her two accompanying musicians were waiting.

It was only a few weeks ago that we saw Catherine play a full gig at the Green Door Store. All of her treasure tracks gigs have felt a little bit more special than that, playing to friends rather than an audience, to people who are willing to make that little bit extra effort to find out about the gig, and consequently Catherine was a little more relaxed. The songs were the same, but they benefited from the intimacy. The set included all of the Treasure Tracks given away so far – Synapses, given away after the Booth Museum gig, Invisibility Disguise, from the Brighton Model Railway club gig, and Pieces of You from her webcast – as well as a selection other tracks, culminating in the last track that was sent through – This One’s Gonna Make Me Some Money – tying in nicely with the gig being held in the Corn Exchange.

Although this was the last Treasure Tracks gig, there are more plans for interesting gigs in intimate locations. Keep your eyes peeled for something in the Theatre Royal in the new year…

Catherine Ireton supported by Ed Prosek at the Green Door Store

Last night, Catherine Ireton played her biggest Brighton gig to date. Over the summer she’s been playing the most intimate gigs, at the Booth Museum, in a room tucked around the back of London Road station and most recently, as she put it last night “in your bedroom” (which is a nice way of saying it was a webcast). Before she plays her last Treasure Tracks gig in a couple of weeks time, she’s played a night at the Green Door Store, supported by Hattie Cooke and Ed Prosek.

Ed Prosek

We managed to miss Hattie Cooke due to a prior engagement at the Basketmakers, and arrived just in time for Ed Prosek and his band. Ed is an American who’s made Brighton his home and plies his musical trade in Singer-Songwriter stock. He made a bit of a splash this summer when his cover of Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound got used in an advert for cheese. Aside from the great voice and well crafted songs, Ed’s great strength last night was the lush instrumentation – As well as Ed’s guitar playing we was joined by a mandolin, piano and full string quartet. My only grumble was his song moaning about the south coast of England in favour of California. Ed – be mindful of your audience!

Catherine Ireton

Around half nine, Catherine Ireton took to the stage. Much like her Treasure Tracks gigs, the bulk of her set was just her and her piano – a simple setup, which didn’t need anything else. The songs got carried along by Catherine’s big voice, telling stories based on recollections of her experiences, of haunted rooms and half-remembered childhood memories. For the closing track of her set, she called on the supports to join her on stage for a rendition of the Stuart Mudoch penned Come Monday Night, recorded by Catherine when she  part of the Belle & Sebastian side project God Help The Girl. If that made the gig feel very much like a family affair, then the encore made things feel even more intimate – Catherine had been singing with a radio mic, and for her finale wandered out into the crowd and sung unaccompanied. Breathtaking.