Caitlin Rose has subtly snuck under the radar in many respects, her country filled melodies receiving rather less recognition that tonight’s performance suggests she deserves. Whilst her songs are somewhat downbeat, even a little melancholy at times, their wry look at life combines with her humorous stage banter culminating to make me and those present realise that they’ve witnessed something downright special.
I will be honest, the Jericho Tavern is not the ideal place to witness such affair and I’m trapped with no chance of ever catching a glimpse of Caitlin’s face. To be blown over, in spite of this, says it all. Her voice fills the room with earthy tones, never missing a note despite singing with sincerity and strength. Her PR people like to suggest she follows a linage from Patsy Cline and maybe she does, but in many ways to create that comparison, or in fact any comparison does her no justice at all because Caitlin has a spark and virtue all of her own.
She opens with the more ethereal sound of Things Change before running through a set of honky-tonk sounds which fuses country with Americana. Whether she’s singing about getting drunk in Bottles, therapy in Learnin’ To Ride or lost love in Shanghai Cigarettes somehow she makes what should be forlorn fairly uplifting, and it’s clear my thoughts are echoed by the sold out crowd who are captivated by her every move.
Nevertheless my own disgruntled thoughts around not being able to see are echoed by Caitlin who rants ‘how am I supposed to do an encore in these places? Climb the fucking rafters, hide behind the air conditioning unit?’ but it is coupled with a giggle that highlights her childish side. As she huddles with her band towards the back of the stage before returning with a cover of Randy Newman’s Marie, Caitlin manages to sum herself up. Her lyrics are not the most sophisticated and the music is at times not faultless, but her unabashed attitude to both song and performance carry her through.