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The promise of country’s hottest new act would rarely drag me out on a rainy November evening, but tales of Caitlin Rose’s high jinx and sultry voice had me more than intrigued. Coming from good Nashville stock, Rose has an infamously well honed line in audience banter that far from hindering her set, has become an entertaining part of it, and she did not disappoint on this occasion at all. Opening with ‘I Get Knocked Down’ to a reverential crowd, she quipped and joked about how drunk she was on her last visit to Bristol  “I was so trashed…I went to the Thek-la, uh huh” much to the crowd’s delight. In fact by the time she threatens to smash a hecklers head in with a bottle of whisky,  only to quickly pipe up in her honey drawl “I’m just kidding I’m just a pussy”, the songs are almost lost in the stage show. However, the steel guitar and pitch perfect tones of ‘Own Side Now’ belie an artist of greater sensitivity and wisdom than the hard drinkin’ madam portrayed.

‘For The Rabbits’ has the crowd swaying, if not a little moist around the eyes with its insightful lyric about a dead relationship returned to only because of its familiarity, and the clear highlight of the evening is an enchanting rendition of ‘Shanghai Cigarettes’ inspiring a Fleece full of smiling faces.
The band closes with, ‘Young Blood’ which has a more rockabilly edge, welcome in such a slow and soulful set and a quick encore minus the others leaves the young performer more prone but a whole lot more real in this reviewers eyes, something that seemed lacking in a set that at times felt over rehearsed. She’s still damn funny though.

Words and photographs: Helen Brown