The 22nd of September is the final day of summer and, in true Mancunian style, it pisses it down all day. Tucked into a railway viaduct, Gorilla play host to singer-songwriter Katy J Pearson who gives summer a fitting send-off.
KJP’s band crowd onto Gorilla’s tiny stage: trumpet, sax and flute accompany the traditional guitar, bass and keys, and as Pearson takes to the stage, she barely has room to sling her baby blue Fender Mustang over her shoulder before they break into ‘Take Back the Radio’. The lead single from her 2020 debut record Return. KJP is touring the follow-up, Sound of the Morning, a gorgeous slice of shimmering indie pop which bops and grooves splendidly – the record is filled with tunes that showcase Pearson’s stunning voice thanks, in part, to Speedy Wunderground’s mad scientist producer Dan Carey.
Pearson and her band treat the Manchester crowd to a jam-packed set, filled with singles and deeper cuts from both records. ‘Miracle’ and ‘Alligator’ are highlights, both tracks sound phenomenal in the sweaty room: Pearson and co are an ultra-tight unit, not a note out of place, and the crowd lapped it up, thanking Pearson with whoops, cheers and impeccable dance moves.
‘Talk Over Town’ is a high point in a set of high points – a cut that embodies the KJP vibe succinctly. High-spirited, feel-good indie pop tunes are Pearson’s currency: her rosy cheeks and beaming grin are transmitted to the crowd who match her energy, creating a truly glorious atmosphere. It is utterly impossible to listen to Katy J Pearson without a smile.