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.
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants kill 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Beyoncé '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed in low-fi homage to viral video
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track