One Rainy Bank Holiday Monday at The Mermaid, St Albans....25.8.15
Today, I most definitely saw the best acoustic duo in the world. Ever.
Katie plus Juan blew me away. And yes, I'm quite aware that I'm probably very late to the party and you all know already how amazing they are - but there may be some people out there who have no idea what they're missing and so I will tell you.
Let me introduce you to Katie. She's a trendy, pretty, twenty-something. She has a cracking smile and seems to know and smile at everyone. Then there's Juan, who is probably a twenty plus another number-something who quietly, before they were due on stage, sat, listened and appreciated the other acts, keeping himself to himself.
They take to the stage (well, floor actually) and wowed the audience with covers and mash-ups from the likes of Doris Day, White Stripes and the Jackson 5 - not your usual cover fodder that's for sure. And their mash-ups are inspired; putting together two songs that you would never imagine could merge and separate so seamlessly - it's like they were written for one another. And as for the Spanish song they did - there are no words, but suffice to say, I felt transported to warm and sunny climes even though the Bank Holiday rain was lashing against the pub window.
They also played two original songs - one written by Juan and the other by Katie. And no, the atmosphere didn't fall flat as it often can when originals are thrown into a covers set. The originals are great, better than great. My thought was why on earth aren't they signed? I later hear that Katie is signed to a label but apparently things are moving slowly. My message to that label is, for the love of music, pull your finger out and get this show on the road, bozo!
Their voices are, for want of a better word or phrase, bloody brilliant. Katie has the ability to make like a chameleon and give the covers what they need and Juan has this pure, cut through voice with a spectacular range.
And I cannot finish this review without mentioning the percussion. Katie plays, to name but a few, a shaky egg, a kazoo and an afuche/cabasa (easy for you to say!). And when Katie isn't playing her guitar, she's using it as a drum box for goodness sake.
I urge you to go and see these guys and if you don't enjoy them I will buy a hat and eat it.