Katie Weston is paying tribute to a ’90s icon with ‘Uninvited: The Songs of Alanis Morissette’ Australian tour
29.06.2021

Katie Weston is paying tribute to a ’90s icon with ‘Uninvited: The Songs of Alanis Morissette’ Australian tour

Photo by Molly Harris
Words by Benjamin Lamb

We chat to the Aussie vocalist about her love of Jagged Little Pill, working with an amazing backing band, and touring the country.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 26 years since Alanis Morissette released her critically acclaimed album, Jagged Little Pill, garnering a bunch of fans across the globe.

One of those fans was found in Katie Weston.

Jagged Little Pill came out when I was in high school, it was so influential for me as a singer/songwriter, knowing you can have this dark, raw energy and talk about these taboo behaviours in lyrics without it being shunned on commercial radio.”

“With these really simple and effective chord progressions that were just arranged so well for this beautiful sounding band, it was just glory,” she adds.

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A lifelong love for the Canadian alt–rocker culminated in Katie, along with her backing band, putting on the first incarnation of the tribute show at Melbourne’s Chapel off Chapel in 2019.

“They have a lot of live music, theatre and cabaret there, it’s an amazing venue. It has a really amazing aesthetic, especially for some of the dark turns a lot of the Alanis Morissette records can take.”

Katie and her team trying to find venues across the country that matched this aesthetic for her show’s upcoming nationwide tour. “We were trying to get venues across the country that replicate that.”

2019’s Chapel off Chapel show had a special magic that made it an unforgettable experience for fans and critics alike, so this tour aims to replicate that chemistry across the nation.

“This tour will be pretty much an exact replica except for a couple of live guests that we have coming on. My musical director, who’s a really good mate, Jonathon Skovron is an absolute hardcore Alanis Morissette fan as well, when I approached him to do the show with me in 2019, he was of course on board, so we’re trying to replicate that.”

“Our awesome producer, Paul Morello, it’s his first time producing a tour like this, he was there that night as well, he said ‘There was magic in the room that night’” Weston adds with a laugh.

Joining Katie on the road are an amazing backing band of Aussie music mainstays, chosen specifically by the singer because of their sheer talent and ability to recreate the music of Morrissette. These include Paul Haymes (drums/percussion), Ben Cripps (bass guitar), Kathleen Halloran (guitar), Alex Burkoy (guitar/violin) and Mezz Coleman (keyboard/backing vocals).

“We made it our prerogative back in 2019, to gather some of the country’s top contemporary musicians, who we know would nail this record live. We wanted to replicate it down to the note of the recordings, because there’s a lot of people that love Alanis, and loved Jagged Little Pill, that would have never seen it performed live. So I’m so excited to be bringing a full band, including three guitars, violins, backing vocalists, keys, and even me on harmonica!”

Katie’s dedication to recreating the iconic sounds of Morrissette’s music has led her to work with sound designer Simon Russell, who makes sure every sound the audience here is representative of the original works;

“We gave him the albums in 2019, and said we need it to sound like this. Alana has such a distinct reverb on her vocals, and she’s got this stirred up harmony that melts into each other with the production, and we wanted to sound like that too.”

Katie and her band have been mainstays of the live scene for years, each truly being masters of their craft, studying and analysing Alanis’ music to really make sure they are doing it justice.

“We’re just replicating the show from 2019, when we only got to do it once. First I got Skov (Jonathan Skovron), and then we decided what songs we wanted to include. Then I recruited him as my musical director, he’s an amazing arranger and composer, and note for note, he charted out the record for our players.”

“We do have gun players, but they can also read charts and music, because we wanted them to get it right the first time, but also then bring their own love of the music ad instincts to what they were playing as well.”

It’s clear that Katie and her team want to make this an amazing experience for all fans out there, giving people the feeling of seeing Alanis Morissette live, but it’s not your average tribute, Katie does give her own spin to the vocals, giving the show it’s distinct flare.

“I’m not trying to be Alanis Morissette, I’m not trying to replicate her vocals, no one can, they’re so iconic. But what you can replicate is a vulnerability, with the vocals being so raw, you don’t need it to sound pretty.”

“There are little vocal flips and things like that, I do them, I think that people expect to hear those, I know how to sing them because I found the when I was 14,” she laughs.

Katie hopes that all audience members who catch her and her group on their 15 date tour “walk away appreciating authentic live music, and what a brilliant songwriter Alanis is. So come down, have a great time, and mainly if you’re a fan in any way, because you may never get to hear these songs with a full band, but you will with us!”

See UNINVITED at The Prince Bandroom, Melbourne on Friday, July 9; Cube 37 Frankston Performing Arts Centre, Frankston on Saturday, July 10; and Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool on Saturday, July 17.

You purchase tickets here.