Have a gig in a roof garden; it sounds like a nice idea in theory. That’s exactly where Katy Crutchfield performed on the final night of her first ever UK tour as Waxahatchee. However, to deal with England’s inconsistent climate in this late spring/early summer period, there was a necessity for a large inflatable roof, both to keep rain out and to keep heat in, but in order for it to stay inflated there was a large pump constantly running, whose whirring threatened to drown out the gig for those of us near the rear, especially since Crutchfield was playing a stripped down acoustic performance. Fortunately, credit is due to both audience and performer, as, once I was able to fade the white noise of the pump from my mind, I couldn’t hear a pin drop amidst the crowd, and Crutchfrield’s voice came through clearly.
Despite the greying sky and the approaching darkness, Crutchfield maintained a summery appearance, donning large sunglasses and playing heavily from last year’s American Weekend, which suited the acoustic set up and had the audience hanging on every word. Of the Cerulean Salt tracks aired, the brazen war cry of “Misery Over Dispute” had no trouble cutting across all other noises in the vicinity to strike a chord in the hearts of the onlookers. The closing “Hollow Bedroom” was equally effective, getting the crowd swaying and singing in time.
The set may have been short, but the nice setting and the affable performer made the event a joy. There followed a screening of Badlands on the roof, for which Katy stuck around to watch and spoke to fans, which was another bonus, after all it is for her words that we most admire her.