Caitlin Rose, Proud Cabaret, Brighton

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

The Caitlin Rose phenomenon began in 2010, with the release of her first full album ‘Own Side Now’. Named album of the week by both The Sunday Times and The Independent on Sunday, the album garnered much media attention, and her first UK tour was a sell out. Three years on, and Caitlin Rose, now 25, has left her Nashville home for a two week UK tour, promoting her new album ‘The Stand-In’.

Her new offering diverges from her original more traditional country style; a brass section features on the album, tending toward a jazzier, bluesier, Caitlin Rose. Her Voice, however, is undeniably country, and in a live capacity, brass is replaced with pedal steel guitar. The overall effect is that of another era. The venue, Proud Cabaret, was originally a ballroom, and the architecture and lighting lent themselves toward the raw, timeless music the band performed.

Rose sang her way through many songs from her latest album, along with the fan favourites from her previous releases. The audience was entirely enthralled with her performance, and illness rendering Caitlin’s vocal slightly croaky, merely seemed to add an endearing vulnerability to the young star. It appears that throughout this tour Caitlin Rose’s band will play a more integral part in her performance. ‘Own Side Now’, and its accompanying tour, presented a pared down performance, in contrast to the artist’s matured full band sound. Band led tracks such as ‘Menagerie’ created an excited atmosphere, the loud electric guitars enveloping the audience. Rose also took the opportunity to take to the stage solo, and her a cappella performance of T-Shirt left the crowd wanting even more from the strong vocalist.

It is not often that young stars of country music receive the recognition that they deserve in this country. Caitlin Rose seems to be the exception to the rule, although she can no longer be labelled solely a ‘country’ artist. Her sound has matured, and the elements of experimentation in her first albums have come to fruition on ‘The Stand-In’, and she has developed her own distinctive sound. Caitlin Rose has continued to charm her audience with her wry smile and witty lyrics, and her raw talent was more than evident, even on a night that came complete with disclaimer regarding her sickness-stricken vocals.

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