Katy Carr Providence ★★★★ – Melodic history lessons.
Katy Carr is an unusual and original singer songwriter. She is fascinated by history, has a gift for strong, upbeat melodies and manages to match research with unashamed emotion. Her early albums were dominated by her campaign to publicise the role played by Polish forces during World War II and she has gone on to explore other era of Polish and now English history while expanding her musical range. Providence is her sixth album and starts with a couple of surprises. The opening Hero to Zero is a furious, bitter anthem, influenced by George Orwell featuring a stomping riff worthy of a good rock band – though the backing is provided by Carr’s electric piano along with accordion and violin and the cello, bass and synth work of co-producer Rupert Gillet. Next comes an equally unexpected ballad, a revival of Peter Hammil’s ‘Afterwards’ from Van Der Graaf Generator’s 1969 debut album. And then come the history lessons, from the gutsy Miracle on the Vistula inspired by a Polish victory over Soviet Russia in 1920 to an equally exuberant tribute to Queen Elizabeth 1st. An intriguing and entertaining set. by Robin Denselow