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Sparkly Bird by Kat Lee Ryan

Sparkly Bird by Kat Lee Ryan

Sparkly Bird

Kat Lee-Ryan is a highly talented local singer songwriter and keyboard player. Colourful. Flamboyant. Very much her own woman. One of a kind. Kat’s voice is both haunting and powerful; she’s one of those people, who you feel is singing and writing about her real life experiences. And that’s exactly what Sparkly Bird is – a uniquely personal musical journey. HOT’s Zelly Restorick reports.

Sparkly Bird is a unique fusion of song, narration and dance: a true story, told in 12 songs, of a young woman’s battle with depression, and her untimely death. Featuring the original music of Kat Lee Ryan, and three of the ever faithful members of The Fabulous Red Diesel, it documents this woman’s last months on the earth.

Kat Lee Ryan Photo Ruari Barret

Kat Lee Ryan Photo Ruari Barret

The musicians – Kat, Wil, Bea and Simon – bring to life these amazing songs with a variety of instruments, including double bass, tuba (includes two tuba solos), ebow guitar and a cahon, as well as piano and voice.

Simon and Wil Photo Ruari Barret

Simon and Wil Photo Ruari Barret

Bea Photo Ruari Barret

Bea Photo Ruari Barret

Hello Kat. Is this a new direction for you? Why this story? What’s your inspiration?

“Yes, the songs were all written in order, and form a diary and a musical journey. I can remember how I was feeling by going back and playing them. This time I have added a narrator and two dancers to tell some of the other bits, and I’m very excited by it.

“This is the story of how my sister died. It was December 2004, two months after I moved to Hastings. She had been suffering from depression, but hiding it from her husband – and from me. Neither of us knew the extent of what was going on.
It was only after her suicide that we began to piece together what she had been doing and saying and not saying. Only one person knew the full picture and she lived in Australia. This was before social media, so information was not shared like it is now.

“It’s the story of how she started to slide, how she did it, and how we pieced together a reasonable explanation.

“It’s taken a long time to get to the point where I could share the story, as it’s very personal, especially for her surviving family. A friend of mine’s sister died in exactly the same way this year – and it brought back the memory of how it felt. So I decided that it was time.

“Here’s a picture of the image for the show. There will be visuals too, a whole sensory experience. I want people to get lost in it, to totally feel the songs like you would at the cinema or at a classical concert, so I went for low lights and visuals. I can’t wait to see it all come together. I’ve never done this before, but it’s something I have wanted to do for a long time.”

Sparkly Bird: Debut performance at The Verdict Cafe, 159 Edward Street, Brighton, BN2 0JB. Saturday 6 February. Doors open at 8pm. Show starts at 9pm. Ticket price: £5 on the door – or online

The Fabulous Red Diesel.

Fabulous Red Diesel’s Sound Cloud connection.

Posted 14:30 Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 In: Music & Sound

1 Comment


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  1. Alanna McIntyre

    I saw the performance at the Verdict on 6th February and thought it was a brave and moving portrayal of a personal story but depicted in such a way that the back projections music voice narration all helped to make the 12 songs realise the loss of Kat felt when her sister died taking her own life. It also shared with the public how this is a loss but also a remembrance of her life and how life does go on. The musicians were magical and although it’s a poignant subject there was also a sense of hope. Thank you and wishing you all the best as you let this work grow and develop. best wishes Alanna

    Comment by Alanna McIntyre — Sunday, Feb 7, 2016 @ 13:06

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