Caitlin Rose at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Caitlin Rose, country singer from Nashville, Tennessee, is a character from the outset, bantering with the crowd from start to finish. There’s a lot of personality behind the small woman with the oversized guitar, but thankfully she isn’t the typical southern belle figure.
Rose’s music is straight out of an Americana bar scene, but has a refreshing, modern twist. The lyrical subjects are pretty much what you’d expect and she has no illusions to the contrary. “Country songs,” she says in a matter of fact tone, “are all a metaphor for being miserable.” However, her songs have a certain way of dealing with these various sources of misery, that distance them from what you might usually roll your eyes at.
The music fluctuated from bounce to croon. The uplifting song Menagerie, for example, featured a constant toe-tap rhythm, driven by some feel-good guitar lines.
Rose has never been to Vegas, she confessed, but she wrote Pink Champagne anyway, a song about a Vegas wedding. It’s faster live than on record and arguably better for it.
She gives the audience a few knowing words about getting drunk and then launches into Old Numbers, a shmaltzy tune about drunk calls to exes. “Don’t blame me, blame the memory,” she sings.
Sinful Wishing Well was another slow one, straight-out tugging at the emotions. There were more than a few red eyes visible in the house after that number.
Andrew Combs provided some supporting guitar and got a moment in the spotlight. He played Too Stoned to Cry, with Caitlin providing harmonies. The song was, in Combs words, “really pretty”.
For “self-proclaimed sad-bastard” music, Caitlin Rose put on a show that left the audience smiling. She’s a great performer. Some songs tended to drag out a little bit, but otherwise she kept the crowd entertained with a mixture of raw music, personality and stage presence. Was London prepared for this kind of emotional bluntness? Arguably not.
Photos: Krish Nagari
For further information and future events visit Caitlin Rose’s website here.
Watch the video for Pink Champagne here: