Caitlin Rose, Dingwalls, London
Thursday 28 February 2013
“Sure is dark in here, hope no one's doing anything naughty,” is how this Southern belle greets her enthusiastic audience (they whoop, holler, wolf whistle) before launching into “No One to Call”, the opening number of Caitlin Rose's exceptional new album, The Stand In.
It's the sort of nimble, poppy track that could easily grace the TV show Girls and there's more than a hint of Lena Dunham (her look, humour, sass) about this precociously talented country singer.
“I've got heels on, so I'm very serious tonight,” maintains the elfin 25-year-old, and unlike a couple of years ago when she tended to drink through her gigs, Rose avoids the hooch here. However, it doesn't prevent a steady stream of non-sequiturs and kooky asides. Some of which are quite droll: “Anyone got a fear of clowns? All they're doing is trying to make you happy”. Some are more acerbic: “You're supposed to clap people, come on”.
Rose admits she's a little “jittery” showcasing The Stand In, her follow-up to the lavishly praised debut One Side Now. She needn't be, as her gorgeously wounded voice is a thing of beauty. The Nashville singer, the daughter of Grammy award-winning country singer Liz Rose, has been giddily compared to the likes of Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, but “poppier” artists such as Edie Brickell, Rickie Lee Jones and Lucinda Williams also come to mind.
Her second record is a far slicker affair than her first, jam-packed as it is with hook-laden tracks, pedal steel guitar and potentially huge hits, from the sumptuous lament “Pink Champagne” to the perky “Golden Boy”, which sounds like early Eighties Blondie gone country. Best of all, however, are the heartbreak songs (aren't they always?) “Waitin'” (with the distressed lyric “Have you been waitin' on a broken heart? Did you see the end from the very start?”) and the mournful “Silver Song” (“Some are bound to fall/ And only end up in the weeds”).
To demonstrate her range, Rose does a passable impression of Bessie Smith on slow track “Old Numbers” and delivers a robust cover of The Felice Brothers' “Dallas”. The highlight, however, is the exquisitely world weary “For the Rabbits” (“Fall back into my desperate arms/ Fall back into routine disaster”) from her debut.
Rose, despite a few technical hitches and a constant low-level hubbub, conquers her nerves and the room, delivering a never less than compelling country set. This mildly eccentric artist is destined for bigger, lighter venues.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils