Live Review – The Kathryn Wheel @ The Retro Bar, Manchester

kathryn wheel


The best sort of gig is always the one in a tiny, dingy underground bar in the back streets of a city – and Manchester is as good as any! I haven’t had time to attend many of these little events recently so it was a welcome change which led to an absolutely fantastic evening in ‘The Retro Bar’. Although a few local bands were on, ‘The Kathryn Wheel’ (who were headlining the evening with an extended slot) are a band particularly close to my heart; front-woman Sarah Woodcock is a close friend of mine, whose gigs I’ve been attending since we started sixth form – meaning I’ve seen her grow and develop as an artist. Sarah has always stood out as she has a really unusual voice – especially now having reached the age of twenty. As I listened to her singing, I really struggled to find artists to compare her to. Her voice is much lower with a more sultry tone than most modern female singers, and a woman at the venue in fact pointed out how it reminded her of Stevie Nicks – which seemed an apt comparison! Top songs of the night were in my opinion ‘Save The World Tonight’ and ‘A World Away’, receiving an impressive response from a very enthusiastic audience.


The addition of the country-esque bass and guitar sounds of Peter Woodcock and Geoffrey Peach respectively, give a strong hint of a Fleetwood Mac or REM style, their music sounds so brilliantly raw and perhaps reminiscent of a variety of seventies southern American groups. Tracks are available to listen to on YouTube and their debut album ‘It’s Only Life’ can be downloaded on Itunes or Amazon. My Favorite from the album has to be ‘Welcome to Hell’, definitely worth a listen! For more information visit their website at


~ Natasha Barrett


Check out “Save The World Tonight” here: