They say that a picture can paint a thousand words, don't they??? Well, I decided I could do with a little help in trying to describe the extraordinary show which Kristyna Myles put on tonight - so I took my camera along to take some photos of her in action. (It is up to you if the photographer gets her P45 though.)
Tonight was an interesting gig in more ways than one.
What do you get when you cross Russell Brand, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and Axl Rose??? The answer is a rather interesting singer called Matt Henshaw.
When Matt walked on stage he reminded me of Russell Brand - he looked so much like him. When Matt spoke he was quiet - the Ringo Starr connection came about because he kept muttering "Peace and Love". One of the songs he sang reminded me of "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison. If there was one slight niggle I had with what could have been an amazing set, it was the fact that I thought he was short of a keyboard player, a drummer, and a bassist (Matt played the guitar himself).
For those of you who have never been in The Musician in Leicester, I had better inform you that it is an intimate venue, tucked away in a side street in Leicester City Centre. Put it this way, you cannot mistake it for the DeMontfort Hall, King Power Stadium, or the Tigers Rugby Stadium on Welford Road (all of which can fit in a lot more people).
Why am I telling you all this??? When Matt sang he seemed to sing at one volume for most of his short set - LOUD! As in - imagine Guns & Roses playing the King Power Stadium and people needing to hear from Row Z (now you know where the similarity to Axl Rose comes in).
I found it a real shame because - if Matt had sung his whole set as quietly as he sang the last song I am sure I would have liked him and his songs more. As it is the only song which my ears liked was the last one "You Have Eyes Of Gold" due to the fact it was sung quietly compared to the others - which made it easier to hear the story he was trying to tell with the song through his voice.
Then we had the star of the show. Kristyna had a band with her (including Ben Williams of course). I was surprised near the end of the show when Kristyna said that the gig was the first time the lineup on stage had performed together (they sounded like they had been doing it for years).
(Kristyna Myles and band)
I half- expected Kristyna to open with the amuse bouche from the album ("New Page (Interlude)"). However, she went straight into "I'm Getting Rid Of This".
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take a good photo of one of the Barbershop Quartet in his hat and bowtie as he was almost hidden in a dark corner. Apparently some of the other extras from the video were scattered in the audience in costume too. I would have liked to see some of them at the front dancing along.
I must admit to being so used to Ben Williams doing the backing vocals whenever he and Kristyna play together that I was actually worried that he had lost his voice. This time the backing vocals were done by the keyboard player - who added a different dimension to some of the songs through the way his voice blended with Kristyna's.
(Kristyna and Keyboard player blending harmonies)
Every single time I hear Kristyna sing one of her own songs she somehow manages to show me something new in it. This is especially true when she sings live. "Garment Of Shame" is one of the songs which Kristyna really brought to life just by the way she sang it - you could actually hear the pain in her voice as she sang it.
(Kristyna showing the audience the emotion in her song)
"A Change Is Gonna Come" was the 'audience participation' song of the evening. We were encouraged to clap along.
(Kristyna leading the audience in clapping to "A Change Is Gonna Come")
That last photo really sums up the gig for me. Kristyna is happy because she is doing the one thing she exists to do - singing - as well as taking her audience on a magical journey of discovery.
Between Matt Henshaw's set and Kristyna's show I met up with someone I had been in contact with on Twitter. Keith Bache had seen Kristyna's gig in Manchester on Monday, came to the Leicester gig, and was planning to go to her London gig too. He recognised me both by my Twitter profile photo and a photo I had put up earlier in the evening of me wearing my "Team Smyles" tshirt (which the founder of Team Smyles, Julie Kirkpartick, had sent me the logo for). The smile on Kristyna's face when she saw my tshirt was the icing on an extremely delicious cake.
(Team Smyles member reporting)
My absolute favourite photo of the night was one I took of Kristyna speaking to a fan. I love it because it shows how much she likes her fans, pledgers, and friends. She is so warm and down-to-Earth, she makes you feel like you are the only person in her world when she speaks to you.
(Kristyna speaking to a fan)
I know I keep saying this but if you get the chance to see Kristyna perform live do it - preferably before she starts selling out places which cost the Earth to get into. I promise you will be taken on an adventure you will remember because she will guide you through your emotions and leave you smiling at the end of it.
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