Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 17/02/2014 | Laura Cantrell – The Stables, Milton Keynes

17/02/2014 | Laura Cantrell – The Stables, Milton Keynes

Lisa Ward

Triangle

It’s been six years since Laura Cantrell’s last release, and eleven years since her last trip to Milton Keynes. It’s fair to say expectations are running high, and though she falters in her vocal performance this is balanced by the airing of new songs. She opens with Trains and Boats and Planes but it doesn’t take long for her to launch into the new material from No Way There From Here. Can’t Wait is a catchy number that would easily nestle itself into a Radio 2 playlist, whilst the title track is a more melancholic affair with the depth found in the poetic lyrics, rather than the musical delivery. 

Nevertheless it’s All The Girls Are Complicated which seems to tick both boxes, more intricate musically and with added layers of depth. Though she dedicates it to the reason for her hiatus (her daughter) it’s clear the song could become something of a mantra for any woman. It seems fair then to follow up with a song about one of her heroines, with Kitty Wells Dresses. With perhaps her most well known track Not The Tremblin’ Kind also thrown into the mix, there’s a focus on independent women, a welcome step away from the traditional country heartbreak approach.

With sympathetic accompaniment from Mark Spencer on guitar the vocal problems can almost be forgiven, especially when he brings out the lap steel to add extra depth to Someday Sparrow. Nevertheless they do noticeably hamper her tonight, and it’s not until she’s joined by friends Cicero Buck that the dots suddenly seem to connect. Her vocals harmonise perfectly with Kris Wilkinson’s deeper tones, and the addition of bass from Joe Hughes gives the songs the depth they need. As they round off with a cover of the Everly Brothers’ Love Hurts and the honky tonk Yonder Comes A Freight Train, it ends on a high note.

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