Lauren Pritchard - Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham - 27/3/2010
All is rosy in the Kitchen Garden Cafe

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.

Image copyright:  Adrian Brown - http://www.clearimagephotography.co.uk/

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…”. 
 

 

The 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, lonely feel.

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 - www.clearimagephotography.co.uk
Review:  Chris Davis

http://www.myspace.com/girlcalledlauren
www.laurenpritchard.com

Click here for EP Release date announcement and gig dates
Click here for our interview with Lauren prior to the gig

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