On a mild spring evening in the middle of May, Will 2 Listen dropped by Stratford Library for a very intimate gig. In a sound-proofed room on the first floor, friends and family of Megan Collins and her support Katt Strike gathered to enjoy a night of live acoustic music. Tonight is part of the “Cereal Shop Sessions” hosted by We’re Not Just Cats Records; “a record label designed for musicians of the internet.”
Unfortunately, due to being initially directed the wrong way by library staff upon my arrival, I missed the beginning of Katt’s set. I entered the room just as she was performing a rendition of The Animals’ ‘House of the Rising Sun’. I was hit by her powerful vocal and the fine acoustics of the room were immediately apparent; a perfect space for small gigs. Mind you, it wouldn’t be my venue of choice being so hidden away in a public library. Nevertheless, it made for a show which could be compared to sitting around in the artists’ living room. As Katt delivered an original called ‘Stardust’ I found myself drawn to the guitar melody rather than her vocal. Maybe nerves got the better of her, I’m not sure. She was in good company though, it was a chilled atmosphere and Megan’s set was not without its mistakes.
Megan opened with a cover; ‘Blank Space’ by Taylor Swift. Her Youtube Channel is awash with a diverse range of cover songs, so it’s no surprise she began her set with one. A nice rendition I might add. She followed this with one of her own; ‘Red Little Scribble‘ on which she displayed her rhythmic skill on the guitar; effective strumming with palm-muting in all the right places. However, it’s after this when things start to become slightly hit and miss.
She continued to perform some cover songs but we were only given two out of five in their entirety. A medley of the other three perhaps? Sadly not; she forgot the words part-way through Lady Gaga’s ‘Million Reasons‘ and Guns ‘n’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child ‘O Mine’. She also managed to play a third of the way through ‘Green Light‘ by Lorde before deciding the capo was in the wrong place.
Thankfully, she made up for it with a fantastic version of ‘Mr. Brightside‘. She dealt with the mistakes with good humour, saying “I practised I promise!” before laughing it all off and we laughed along with her. Her friends were on hand to support her and she got back on the horse with some beautiful originals.
Megan proceeded with a song about a breakup, about which she said “I was going through a period when I didn’t even want to touch a boy”. Sadly for her boyfriend who was in the room, all eyes turned to him as a joke, but we were soon reassured the song’s completely unrelated. In fact, Megan backed this up with ‘Us’ which she wrote about their happy relationship. He should feel relieved; it’s a beautiful song.
She closes the evening with another original; the title track from her ‘We Always Find A Way’ EP which she released last year. To be honest, I was hoping to hear the other songs from the EP too. On the bright side, she did give us a glimpse at some new material with ‘Rooftop Romance’ and ‘Feel’, the latter proving to be the highlight. It’s a song she said “[She] wrote on piano…but I can’t play the piano so hopefully, it sounds good on the guitar.”
Nerves and memory may have let her down in places, but she persevered and joined in with the craic.
By Will Hunt
Katt Strike showed promise
Megan Collins’ vocal was impeccable
Dealt well with her cover mistakes
The vibe of a living room performance
New material, but no confirmation of a new EP just yet.
Connect with Megan:
‘We Always Find A Way’ EP