By Astrid Williamson
Came across Astrid on the Roadworks Tour when she was one of the supports for Adam Masterson along with Bodixa. Knew I recognised her - I saw her singing with The Milk and Honey Band when they played an acoustic set at Borders in Leeds some time ago - apparently she was only "temping" on that gig and didn't enjoy it! Watched all her acoustic set at The Borderline London and was amazed by her singing and songwriting talents, her intricate guitar and keyboard work - think Tori Amos meets Joni Mitchell, songs that turn and twist, great melodies with lyrics that mean something to the listener, and man what a voice - so powerful yet tender, that drags emotion from your soul. And a really accomplished performance - a diminutive figure on stage - but how she fills it!
So, who is Astrid Williamson, and where has she come from all of sudden? The truth is that she has been around for a while. Shetland born Astrid was the creative lynchpin of the band Goya Dress, whose debut album Rooms was produced by John Cale and received massive critical acclaim. She followed this with her first solo effort Boy For You, which also received critical acclaim. Astrid has achieved a great deal of success already - she has collaborated with such luminaries as Stereophonics and Electric - and also has a single out in the USA on Hip Hop label Tommy Boy - which is a joint project with legendary DJ Arthur Baker.
So, what of this album - a fine selection of beautifully evocative, sophisticated and sexy songs, elegantly constructed and superbly executed. Don't know if it's commercial enough to be a hit in today's climate - but if there is any justice it will be. There is something on it for everyone - it moves, it's chilled, it's late night to love by. Go out and get it - see for yourselves. And if you get an opportunity to see Astrid - go, go, GO.