Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Review: Congregation held rapt by Mary Gauthier

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

The Americana troubadour began her gig at St George's Church in Belfast last night by taking a photograph of the audience. It was for her mother, the singer explained: "She'll be happy I was able to pull a crowd in a church."

A lot of musicians are described as mavericks, but New Orleans-born Gauthier – who books her own shows and drives herself from city to city – surely defines the term. The 51-year-old, abandoned as a child and subsequently adopted, has battled with alcohol and drugs and spent time in rehab and jail before coming to songwriting at age 35.

Since then, she has been named gay country artist of the year and counts everyone from Boy George to Bob Dylan as fans. Gauthier's style is certainly as poetic as the latter and notably influenced by him.

Her deep lyrics concern subjects like addiction, disease and murder.

"When you flirt with the shadows, darkness snakes under your skin," she crooned on Same Road, while I Drink and Mercy In The Sky were similarly bleak.

Perched on the church's grand stage, as night fell, accompanied by a mournful violin, this was a sermon with a difference.

But Gauthier held the Belfast congregation as rapt as any preacher could.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Capricorn:

It feels like friends are few and far between. If you're not getting the help you need, ask why. It may be because you have been so preoccupied with work. Skipping special occasions and failing to return phone calls causes resentment. You have to be more engaged to sustain loving bonds. Call someone you've missed. It may take a few tries, but it's worth the effort. Be forthright about why you have been out of touch. Communication is the cornerstone of every healthy relationship.More