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Kimya Dawson And Friends, Komedia, Brighton, May 19
Kimya Dawson was a likeable performer with songs that were easy on the ear – whether she was singing one of her better-known numbers from the Juno soundtrack, a track from her kids’ album Alphabutt, or an impromptu piece from her community choir.
Her childlike wonderings and observations, in her lyrics (“I’m just a speck of dust inside a giant’s eye”) and her down-to-earth interactions with the audience, were particularly soothing after the noisy adolescent-style songwriting of warm-up act Angelo Spencer.
Just when you were in danger of thinking “Isn’t this all rather twee?”, she caught you off-guard with a darker number about her bygone days of drinking and drug-taking, or the death of her friend Alex, who passed away before her eyes while she sang him his favourite songs.
These, with their appropriately moving introductions, were far from twee, although her reflections weren’t always appreciated by her predominantly young audience.
A reference to her self-harming in the past prompted a somewhat out-of-place whoop, while her last song, dedicated to Alex, prompted one punter to raise their lighter in sympathy.
Insensitive audience members aside, I suspect I would have better appreciated Kimya and her friends had I been sitting down with a glass of wine or maybe even a hot chocolate to hand, rather than jostling in a sell-out standing-only gig at Komedia.
Having said that, there’s a great deal of comfort to be had from Kimya’s warm personality and her sweet lyrics – seat or no seat.