Caitlin Rose - CCA
Live Review

Caitlin Rose – CCA, Glasgow

The Centre for Contemporary Arts is not a regular venue for Glasgow gig goers. But on a Saturday night when The Stranglers and Bastille were among the many bands also playing in the city there were perhaps few options left. And an appreciative crowd were simply delighted that Nashville’s Caitlin Rose was back in town.

The backing band for the night also doubles as the support acts on this tour. Texan singer Andrew Combs stated the night well with his acoustic country songs, his strong voice perfectly suited to numbers with names like new song Part Time Lovers, Full Time Fools and the passionate closer Worried Man. He was joined by Jeremy Fetzer on guitar and Spencer Cullum on pedal steel to give a bigger sound, before the band was rounded out by its rhythm section.

After a short break the band members returned as Steelism to play a short set of instrumental numbers that ranged from surf rock through the slower Lewis and Clark to a James Bond theme. It was a lot of fun, with the combination of Fetzer’s guitar and Cullum’s pedal steel working very well.

There was little need for any stage adjustments so it was soon time for the star of the show. Caitlin Rose strolled confidently onto the stage and held the audience in the palm of her hand for the next hour. Kicking off with the country rock sound of No One To Call, the opening track from her excellent new album The Stand-In, she was on top form from the start. Rose has a gentle stage manner, her wry observations and attempts to understand the shouts directed her way in thick Glaswegian accents only adding to her charm.

Much of the set came from the new album, the slower and delicate vocals on Only A Clown contrasting with the hints of the pure vocal power she possesses on I Was Cruel. Old Numbers had a jazz like edge, with Rose momentarily cast as a stage siren, while the sweet Pink Champagne was beautifully delivered. And her cover of The Felice Brothers’ Dallas took the temperature up once more as her vocals soared, pitch perfect and simply gorgeous.

The faster paced Menagerie was introduced as one to dance to, and many of the audience did. It’s always interesting to see who an artist attracts along and Rose’s wide appeal was clear as teenagers swayed along next to those in their sixties. And even with three guitars, bass and drums backing her, Caitlin Rose’s voice still cut cleanly through the mix.

The set closed with two slower songs. Andrew Combs took the lead for his lovely Too Stoned To Cry with Rose adding the most sumptuous harmonies before she ended with a lovely solo acoustic version of Sinful Wishing Well from her debut album.

An encore was demanded, and the full band was soon back on the stage to play two more songs. I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail, an old country standard, was raucous and joyful, while the beautiful Shanghai Cigarettes, again from Rose’s debut, closed the night in tremendous style.

Caitlin Rose is maturing into a fine songwriter and a performer who knows exactly how to deliver her country pop songs in a stylish and entertaining fashion. But most of all she is a singer who has a tremendous voice and knows how to use it to best effect. And the large and always appreciative crowd enjoyed every minute of her excellent performance.

Venue: CCA, Glasgow
Support Band: Andrew Combs, Steelism

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