Karousel: Kathryn Williams ‘Crown Electric’ featuring Karousel members – Drowned In Sound Review

Another great review for Crown Electric comes in for Kathryn… Besides Kath being a friend, and us being fans here, there’s also some Karousel involvement in the record with Ben Trigg, Chris S and 50:50 Studios. As many of you will know, we spend a lot of our time banging on about great lyrics – well look no further than this record. Anyone who lives in London will resonate with the sentiments in Underground:

Underground and underfoot
nowhere to go but it’s still a rush
escalator waterfall
Keep to the right
Or rush some more…
…one big wave crashing into town…

Kathryn has a knack of telling a story, painting the insightful, drawing out the empathy from the human gristle in a deceivingly simple way – and as any decent songwriter will tell you, it’s the hardest thing to do. So often writers over-egg the pudding – but Kath has a wonderful talent for projecting the image onto the brain with words to spare. Here’s an excerpt from Morning Twilight:

When I think of the way that you walked
got it mixed with a man from a film
he was trying to save the whole town
looking backwards… and falling down

The projector has run out of film
just a flickering bright white light
everyone else has gone home
red seats have flipped upright…

Kath got up to do an impromptu couple of numbers at the Northern Embassy show on Monday. As luck would have it, she was just around the corner because she’d just done a BBC Radio 2 session in town for the Bob Harris show (with Gideon Coe) – and her manager, our friend Sharon Dean, had kindly been an expert at our Music Industry Speed Meetings session we had laid on before the showcase. Beguiling. It’s great to see Kath getting the plaudits she deserves; and we’re all delighted that one of our top Karousel members, Ben Trigg, gets a well deserved pat on the back. No wonder the old boy is so busy! He was playing with Matt Deighton (and Sebastian Hankins) at the Monday show too – and Kath getting up was the cherry on top. More on Matt, Ben and Bas later. It’s also top to see ‘Arwen’ get a mention – it’s a song that Chris Sheehan co-wrote with Kath last summer on one of Mr Difford’s secret hideaways Some of the record was done at 50:50 Studios before the lion’s share was done by Neill MacColl at Ray Davies’ Konk studios in Crouch End.

Here’s the interview itself, and do yourself a favour: Go buy the record! It’s one of those rare albums that comes out maybe once a year that you’ll have on – start to finish – on a lovely, lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon with a cuppa and a roast in the oven. Well, other times too, obviously. But always start with a roast, right?

Every time another soul crawls onto the screen and is asphyxiated in the talent show stocks, we must all redouble our efforts to support genuine artists like Kath, or Matt Deighton, who still strive to make a better record 5 or 10 albums in – glorious lanterns hidden just out of the light. And while the resources and rewards of the modern music business are directed at well meaning Karaoke singers, there’ll be artists like this watching them from a distance: writing about them; painting them in aural colours that can only be mixed with a palette earned with tears and time. Saying in one line everything about that human millipede waiting in the rain to be famous. Let’s make sure Kath, and Matt, and all the other great writers out there don’t ever run out of paint.

This is the video for Heart Shaped Stone: make sure you get to the end – it’s very funny. And what a great tune too!