gigs: “Words and Music” Kerrigan-Lowdermilk

American duo Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk had yet to grace London with their music in person,  however on the weekend of February 8th/9th they finally had the chance to, with a weekend of concerts and a masterclass at the beautiful St. James Studio.

If you’re lucky enough to have Rachel Tucker performing in your concert then it’s a surefire win to have her open the show which Kait and Brian did! Full of energy as ever, Rachel performed the uptempo Hand in Hand which opened the show on a massive high. Kait and Brian then introduced themselves properly and explained how they’d met and started working together. As they’ve never done a concert in the UK there was quite a lot of chat included in the show to give context to the music and the references that influenced it etc, which I did enjoy as it fleshed out the performances a lot. It wasn’t just hearing their music, it was seeing their personalities too.

Brian then performed 5 and a Half Minutes from their first album, Our First Mistake. Following this, Rachel completely spoiled the entrance to the next song after Kait had said she’d worn her dress specifically, to which Rachel blurted out “It’s your party dress!”. Brian shushed her which made the audience react brilliantly while Rachel seemed confused as to why people were laughing at what she’d said! The intro to My Party Dress then began and within the first line (“Did you see my party dress?”), she twigged. I love seeing this song performed and have done a few times as it’s great seeing an adult transform into a little girl showing off her party dress, and it was even better seeing the writer of the song perform it herself. After the song Rachel admitted she was very new to Kait and Brian’s music and Kait had mentioned in the dressing room before the show that she was wearing her party dress, Rachel didn’t realise that was actually a link to a song!

Stuart Matthew Price then performed the song which was the first of Kait and Brian’s that he heard, Run Away With Me, and he also recorded it to be on his albumI love seeing Stuart perform as he has such strength in his voice, and holds ridiculous notes for what seems like forever! I’m always impressed. Brian performed The Bad Years from the musical similarly titled – Tales from the Bad Years, which had a really nice audience sing-a-long part, before Kait sang a beautiful song called How To Return Home which is from their earlier projects and also part of Tales from the Bad Years.

Rachel Tucker rehearsing with Ellie Verkerk

Another song new to me and also from the same show as the last two numbersa heart-wrenching song titled Anyway was performed by Rachel and certainly blew the audience away. I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw the show with the lyric “I feel like I’m underwater, like the whole world is underwater,” stuck in my head! Ending the first act on a funnier note, Brian and Stuart performed Vegas which was about two guys going to Vegas which left the audience laughing into the interval for sure!

Returning from the interval, which is something different for Kait and Brian as they said they’re not used to having an interval/intermission for concerts! They said that the second act would predominantly be made up of the new music that they’ve been writing.

The first song was part of a show called Unbound, a show about a little girl living in Beijing wanting to be a dancer and the journey she takes to become one. Brian sang as the little girl and Kait as her older sister as well as other various characters, including stage directions and such in the song which I really loved as it created the visual context we couldn’t physically see. It was a beautiful song that I enjoyed a lot, and look forward to hopefully seeing more from it in the future.

Ellie Verkerk joined Brian at the piano to help with the next songs from a show called Republic, which is set in Northern Ireland (to which Rachel, being Irish, gave a little ‘woohoo!’). The show involves politics, mainly a politician running a mayoral campaign, Henry, and the issues he has with his son who is getting involved with the IRA. Stuart then performed Rise which Kait described as the character’s manifesto of sorts. It was a really powerful song that suited Stuart’s voice incredibly well.

Stuart Matthew Price performing ‘Rise’ for PPA students with Brian in the week.

Next Stuart was joined by Kait to sing another song from Republic as the characters of Michael and Kate in the first scene that they’re alone together having worked on political matters. In The Only Ones on Earth the audience sees the more intimate side of their relationship. Stuart couldn’t attempt the Irish accent however I thought Kait did a fantastic job at it especially considering she was singing in front of Rachel who is from Belfast herself!

As Kait said after this song, “things get worse,” in the show, and Rachel filled the role of Kate in the show in singing Close Call. Obviously she had no problem with doing the accent for this though she jokingly said she’d written “BELFAST” at the top of her sheet to remind herself she needed to sing in that accent. This song is one of realisation for the character filled with conflict and went along a roller coaster of emotions that Rachel portrayed perfectly.

Brian sang the last song from their Republic section which is a reflective one as Michael truly realises what is happening in his world, and so Brian performed One Last Prayer.

Next Brian spoke some more about the transition of him and Kait working together, and how he went from writing both music and lyrics to simply music and her writing lyrics. They then performed a mash up of both of Brian’s first song, and then their first song working together. Brian asked Rachel to join him at the piano despite her not knowing how to play at all. He told her all she needed to do was play on the black keys at his cue which she was very excited about, bashing the notes out!

So, Brian’s song Moving to China (which was about taking his sister and moving to China) was mashed up with Will You Come With Me with much added hilarity from Rachel with her sitting on the piano stool in anticipation to play the piano. Both songs put together made for a lovely combination and ended with a key bash from Rachel too.

For the finale of the evening, Kait and Brian taught the audience a verse which we would have to sing in the song. Rachel then began singing Holding On with the audience joining in on “The Earth keeps turning, the light keeps shifting, and I keep holding on,” which was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. I’m a sucker for audience participation anyway but this one genuinely sounded so good (you could tell it was a room of musical-theatre people) and struck a very deep emotional chord. A stunning finale.

With one sold-out show in London under their belt I’m sure Kait and Brian were very pleased with how it went, showcasing their new music and getting to have Rachel and Stuart join them in doing so. The audience loved it, shown by a standing ovation and it was a delightful evening.

Find Kait and Brian on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube!
You can see all the info on their songs/albums/shows here!
And you can purchase their sheet music here!
Stuart Matthew Price on Twitter
Rachel Tucker on Twitter

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