There’s something a little different about Caitlin Rose these days. An air of confidence now exists that was perhaps simply waiting to blossom as she toured in support of her debut full length record Own Side Now a couple of years back. It’s a confidence that makes it quite impossible to take your eyes off the stage. Caitlin Rose isn’t a musician who dashes from one corner of the room to the other – whether this would be possible at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge is another topic of debate – however there’s a ‘watchibility’ that makes for splendid viewing.
With Andrew Combs and Steelism filling the support slots, there was a sense that this was the new breed of Nashville’s finest heading to new shores to show that country influenced music can be enjoyed by an often sceptical British public. For a short while Manchester was transported to southern America, filled with a sense of wonderment and then shunned back to reality.
The performance from Caitlin Rose was a seamless blend of new and old – leaning perhaps more heavily toward the former – in a gentle attempt to welcome her new record, The Stand In, to the world. The opening No One To Call crunched its way through the opening guitar part and sounds just as fulfilling as it does on record.
Rose, and her accomplices, are as tight as one would expect for a group who have played together for such a lengthy period of time. Jeremy Fetzer and Spencer Cullum Jr have been long standing members of the touring party, and it shows as they deliver excellent performances throughout the night. They’re accompaniments to Golden Boy and Pink Champagne truly maintain the spectacle of the performance, as the middle portions of the setlist opted for slightly slower paced songs.
It’s always nice to see a musician willing and able to maintain the attention of a crowd in between the strums of guitars and bellows into the microphone and Caitlin Rose does have a knack of impacting her personality on proceedings. Yes, it does result in some slightly irritating hollers from the front, but it’s all taken in a playful, disarming manner. Her final encore of Answer In One Of These Bottles provides a raucous of an end, as the crowd sing along to Caitlin and her guitar, while the band put down their instruments and provide backing vocals.
The likes of Dallas and the infectious Waitin’ are the stand out tracks in a night that has shown that Rose is beginning to come of age. It will be a catastrophe if she is not returning to Manchester in a more sizeable venue that does justice to the pure talent that she possesses. Caitlin Rose remains a somewhat unknown entity in the UK, but this is surely about to change.