Dickie Felton

I write about music and football

Cate le Bon appeared from behind the Science Fiction and Fantasy section at Kendal Library.

But her magical music is probably best placed somewhere between non-fiction and mountaineering.

For the Welsh genius kept it real while scaling many heights during this Cumbrian concert as part of the excellent Get it Loud in Libraries series.

Both The Guardian and BBC Radio Six music championed this show as not to be missed.

And it was clear from the off that this was going to be unique night.

Wondrously weird support Tim Presley opened things up with some frantic guitar playing and equally frantic make-up.

Think Robert Smith out of The Cure but a bit more menacing. Presley’s band looked very familiar - albeit hidden behind what can only be described as medium-tog duvets.

The bass player kept herself hidden at the back. And her identity will not be revealed here.

Actually, two or three of Presley’s songs bordered on brilliance.

Some may remember the American from being a key part of The Fall line-up during their Reformation tour. 

Let There Be Light is the slogan that greets people to Kendal Library.


(Cate le Bon photo @michleather)

One of the town's most distinguished buildings, it was designed by a local architect, T. F. Pennington.

I doubt Pennington would have known that a century since his creation, the library is now a mecca to both books and music.

This ultra cool gigging venue with Cate le Bon the most intriguing offering ever to leap out from the shelves.

She opened with the title track off her new album Crab Day and proceeded to treat the 150 strong family and forty somethings audience to a remarkable set of songs from her four albums.

Is Cate indie? folk? who knows?

All you need to know is that Cate and her band are pretty amazing.

She treats us bookworms to several tracks from Mug Museum and then stops to have a brew and a chat.

Having no bar at a gig is actually something that could catch-on. No clanging classes, no spilt beer over our vegan Docs and people actually listening to the music.

Highlights of the set included Cate and band bringing one song to a halt as if they are Duracell bunnies running out of battery life...

Only to spring to life moments later with I Can’t Help You.

The encore is magical as the audience take-in Cate’s awesome Are You With Me Now?

And then it’s on to a festively funny version of Wham’s Last Christmas. With a little bit of Jingle Bells thrown in.

Cate le Bon’s new album Crab Day is out now.

Over the last nine years the Get It Loud In Libraries live programme has drawn an audience of over 28,000 people into libraries across the UK. And there are other intriguing library concerts which should be on your reading list.


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