Since her 2010 debut album Own Side Now, Caitlin Rose has steadily built a following thanks to her impeccable sounding country folk, writes Neonfiller.com's Matthew Nicholson.
She returned for Record Store Day in 2012, throwing a different light on the Arctic Monkey’s songs ‘Piledriver Waltz’ and ‘Love Is A Laserquest’. This year sees the release of her follow-up album, The Stand In.
In taking promotion of the new record to Bristol’s The Fleece, she brought with her two support acts made up of various incarnations of her full band. As people trickled in off the cobbled streets outside they were greeted by night opener Andew Combs. Like Rose, he’s a story-teller rooted in entertaining, sometimes lovelorn tales. He too comes from Nashville and you can hear the Tennessee bourbon in his voice.
During Combs’s set an eclectic group of musicians rotated around him. It is these members that formed the instrumental second act of the night, Steelism. However, without the punctuation of a verse or chorus they didn’t always engage. More interest was drummed up though when they closed with a couple of Beatles covers; a southern-sounding ‘This Boy’ and ‘Something’, which includes the first vocal of the night, albeit disguised by vocorder.
And so to the headline act. Caitlin Rose draws upon a past age to create her world, at once old-fashioned and vibrantly contemporary. It filled the Fleece with Rose herself succumbing to the sound, gazing into the middle distance as though addressing her song’s subject. Her voice is faultless; sweet, warm and sometimes mournful with highlight including the classy Pink Champagne, the yearning Golden Boy and the quirky Old Numbers, all taken from the new album.
The performance and acoustics of the band reached a similar quality. Their years on the circuit are telling and they create a rich backdrop to the singer’s lead. The atmosphere warmed too, with Rose’s easy-going and winningly humble persona adding fun to the flawless playing.