The Porter, Bath 18 June 2009
The Porter Cellar Bar is a tiny, low-ceilinged space. When Katie Stelmanis begins to sing, her operatic voice swells and fills the vaults, and it’s almost too much: from the first note, she is clear and powerful, swooping cleanly through the octaves. Her own songs seethe and bubble on a combination of dark synths and martial percussion (provided by Maya Postepski) which cohere behind the glorious vocals to create a dark hymnal splendour. Behind her keyboard and tiny as she is, Stelmanis has huge presence, her face gleaming as she sings. When she comes to a cover of Roy Orbison’s Crying (which you can hear on her Myspace page) she sings with a rich solemnity, rising high on the song’s shivering sorrow. New single Believe Me marks the climax and sounds like an anthem to the perfect conviction of the performance.