Cate Le Bon

Cate Le Bon


Gorilla is one of those venues that feels ready made for a mosh pit, for a crowd of sweaty rock fans pogo-ing into one another. It’s a great little venue that provides intimacy for the audience, artists and bands. Tonight though, it’s unlikely that there’ll be any moshing as the venue is playing host to the delightful, demure Cate Le Bon.

Having worked with a list of impressive artists including the likes of Super Fury Animal’s Gruff Rhys and having supported Manic Street Preachers on tour, Cate has been well respected and appreciated by her peers for years, and now touring her 4th studio album Crab Day, it feels like she is more assured and comfortable with her sound than ever before.

Opening the night with twisted folk and disjointed vocals that are vaguely reminiscent of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is Alex Dingley and half of Cate’s band.  With every song they perform I am certain that this is one of the best support sets I’ve seen for a while, an ideal warm up to the headline act; it’s almost as though he’s Cate’s protégé or younger brother who’s carefully learnt from her musical style and adapted it into his own nicely. He may seem a bit on edge, nervously laughing when he addresses the crowd; but, he’s managed the sometimes difficult support slot admirably.

Shyly slinking onto stage Cate and her band spring into ‘Crab Day’ the title track from the latest album, a song that instantly hooks you in with it’s jerky keys and rhythmic bass line; flowing into the current single ‘Love Is Not Love’ a slow beat mellow wonder that allows Cate’s vocals to really take centre stage. Other tracks from the latest record that make their way into this joyous set include ‘I’m a Dirty Attic’ and ‘I Was Born On The Wrong Day’, these songs alone, reemphasise that this isn’t an album of filler, but, an album full of tracks all as worthy and unique.

Nevertheless, my concrete favourite songs from 2013’s Mug Museum still shine above the rest: ‘Are You With Me Now?’ sounding even more beautiful and haunting and ‘Sisters’ as catchy and fun, encouraging the crowd to whirl around in a grungey folk psych mass. Not only is Cate captivating, but, I am also in awe of her bands talent, their intricacy and faultless playing at least deserves several pats on the back. The music translates live with such superiority to the recorded tracks that I fear when I next listen to her albums; they won’t quite do the songs justice anymore.

As we sadly head towards the end of the set Cate dedicates her penultimate song ‘What’s Not Mine’ to BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley (who we suspect might be present somewhere in the room), thanks her support acts, her band and the audience for coming along to her gig, especially as it’s a Monday night “It’s very kind of you”, well Cate, it’s you that’s actually made all our Monday’s that little bit brighter.

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Sarah Starkey

I am a Freelance Writer who is a bit music obsessive. Previously written for the likes of Music Vita and Planet Ivy. Life highlights include winning £2.50 on the Euro-millions.