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You can see why she mightn’t have become a name. Her absolute individualism, however fiercely admirable, occasionally manifests as collegiate awkwardness
Kim Porcelli, 31 Oct 2002
Katell Keineg is having a hot whiskey for the first time in ten years. “Ah, this brings me back to the early ’90s,” enunciates the Welshwoman-gone-native over its steaming edge in her smiley, breathy glottals, “and to life therewith.”
Appropriate enough: ’cos tonight feels like a celebration, amongst friends; not only of forthcoming EP What’s The Only Thing Worse Than The End Of Time?, but of the longevity of Keineg’s stubbornly wayward muse despite her maltreatment, as she crisply puts it, “at the hands of the cunting music industry.” “Didn’t become famous,” she intones, slurring upward to the notes with Waterboys-vintage sea-drunkenness, stirring up an intoxicating, delicious lyricism worthy of Tim Buckley; “didn’t become a name…/But this is not a talkin’ blues,” she murmurs, her eyes closed, her grin one of pure bliss.
You can see why she mightn’t have become a name however. Her absolute individualism, however fiercely admirable, occasionally manifests as collegiate awkwardness (an anti-Bush ditty refers to “you and your plastic head”; elsewhere, Hitler “was a mama’s boy”) as well as sonic anachronism (a brief spate of Mary Margaret O’Hara-style vocal ululation is a bit 1988). But a lullaby cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’, followed by a careful and precious ‘Gulf Of Araby’, confirm that we in Ireland at least - and life therewith - are so much richer for having her.