The Kitchen Garden Café
in Kings Heath
provided an intimate setting for Lauren Pritchard, currently
working her way around small venues and festivals throughout
the UK promoting her soon to be released debut album,
‘Wasted in Jackson’. Playing a stripped-down acoustic set
to fit the surroundings, Lauren and guitarist Paul Sayer
entertained a small but appreciative crowd.
From the opening number ‘Pain
Killers’ through to the closing ‘Photograph’ we were treated
to a journey through Lauren’s life. ‘Wasted in Jackson’
displays her drive to become more than another small-town
also-ran “…No one wants to change in Jackson…breakin’ out,
sorry town…”. The up-beat, soulful ‘Stuck’ which she
describes as “the only love song I’ve written…” leads to
it’s fall-out, ‘Not the drinking’. ‘When the night kills
the day’ refers to her recent move to London “…it feels good
to be a stranger…no one can judge me…”.
acoustic treatment of well-crafted songs along with great
sound gave Lauren’s voice room to weave its sweetly soulful
spell on you, drawing you in. She sang with a maturity
belying her youth, born perhaps of moving alone across
America as a 16 year-old to make it in LA. Numbers like
‘Pain Killers’ and ‘Hope it’s You’ saw Paul’s choppy guitar
and Lauren’s stomping bare feet and hand claps filling in
for the missing drummer.
Others like ‘Photograph’, reminiscent of Janis Ian at her
best, and ‘Going Home’, filled with heart-felt angst,
introduced a touch of slide guitar adding to the haunting,
Between numbers she fills in with an easy style, showing a
child-like delight at having been interviewed and had a song
played on BBC radio WM. She seemed genuinely surprised
when, at the close of the set the audience called for more.
For the encore, we were treated to a cracking version of
Lauren’s favourite John Mayer song, ‘Slow dancing in a
burning room’. A second encore saw an impromptu version of
Carole King’s ‘Natural Woman’ with audience participation
when what could have been an embarrassing fluffed chord was
skilfully turned to advantage.
With heartfelt vocals, intelligent lyrics and great songs,
this is a small-town girl with big-world talent. Lauren had
friends from Birmingham in the audience lending support. By
the end of the gig she had made a lot more. Catch her on
this tour while it still feels like meeting a friend.
Photography: Adrian Brown -
Review: Chris Davis
for EP Release date announcement and gig dates
for our interview with Lauren prior to the gig
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