RETURN TO THE NEST
Casually, in between songs, singer, songwriter, and actress Brechtje Kat talks about her life. She is born in Westzaan the daughter of a farmer. Besides that, her father is also a pigeon fancier. He brings pigeons to Belgium, that upon release rapidly fly homewards. The winner is the owner of the pigeon that returns first.
Kat herself took much longer to return from Antwerp, where she is getting her MA in Drama and Cabaret at the Koninklijk Conservatorium [Transl. The Royal Conservatory], to her nest. Four years to be precise.
Your roots always remain with you, she lets us know, after which she appropriately plays the song ‘Your Roots’. A bit later, she reveals why pigeons return home with speeds of 120 km/hour. First, you let the female and male sleep together, then they only want one thing: to be reunited as quickly as possible. Immediately the song ‘Can I Stay a bit Longer’ follows. After the romance of this song, the exuberant ‘Perfect’ sounds. The heavy, rhythmic song ‘Take me to the River’ is tonight’s highlight.
In an hour’s time Kat and her band manage to play as much as twelve songs, the only interruption is the story about the pigeons. Her musical style is diverse, although it holds mostly influences from country, soul, and blues. Sometimes pleasantly swinging, occasionally enthrallingly romantic, but above all uncomplicated. She fills up the room with her slightly unpolished voice. Yet, she also knows her way with the more romantic songs. It never becomes trashy or shallow.
The band deserves a compliment. Skilful and well prepared the musicians accompany the songs, without claiming a leading role. Keyboard player and driving force Thomas de Prins with his organ and typical Hammond-sound deserves additional praise. The music comes first for Kat & Band rather than show. This is also true for singer Brechtje Kat, who sings her songs with a humble, almost static posture.
Dirty Dancing’s ‘Do You Love Me’ is played as the encore. The spiritedness is infectious, something that was lacking during the beginning of the concert. It seems as if the tension is dropping and it still turns out to be a musical party.
Kat & band
Vocals: Brechtje Kat. Piano and Hammond organ: Thomas de Prins. Bass and backing vocal: Stoffel Verlackt. Drums: Bert Huysentruyt. Guitar: Geert Hellings.
Seen: 22th June 2009 in de Engelenbak, Nes 71, Amsterdam. Length: 1 hour.