Last week, Nashville’s southern belle Caitlin Rose made her debut in Nottingham’s Glee Club. After releasing her album The Stand-In earlier this year, Rose has seen a sudden growth in fans since her last visit earlier this year. Opening up the show was Andrew Combs, another Nashville native. Combs’ performance was very intimate and began with just him and his guitar, with his vocals sitting between the vintage style of Roy Orbison and the characteristics of Ryan Adams. The audience was so quiet for Combs that you can hear his foot keeping time during his song ‘Pearl’, which could have been a cut from Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’ with the lyrics that taken on a third-person narrative of different characters and their struggles.
Halfway through his set, Combs was joined by pedal steel player Spencer for the track ‘Suwannee County’, which tells the story of a man who wants to be buried in his favourite fishing hole when he dies. To finish off his set, Combs’ changed it up by inviting Caitlin Rose’s band up to the stage to join him for two songs that took on more of a swamp blues feel.
Caitlin opened up with ‘No One To Call’ from her stunning album The Stand-In, which served as a perfect introduction to Rose’s band as each member of the band traded off solos towards the end of the song. Caitlin ditched the guitar for ‘I Was Cruel’, in which her sugar coated voice carries the chorus, before this is then juxtaposed by ‘Waitin” where Caitlin isn’t afraid to show her teeth on the soulful broken hearted number.
The band left Caitlin for a couple of solo songs and during these, she dusted off an old cut ‘Sinful Wishing Well’, describing it as “a song I wrote when I was young and thought my emotions ran the world, I think it’s called hormones”, acknowledging her progression to a more radio friendly sound. She welcomed Andrew Combs back to the stage to join her for a cover of Comb’s song ‘Too Stoned To Cry’ – “you can laugh” he smiled amidst the silence – the collaboration between the two was stunning, with both voices sitting perfectly on top of each other.
For the encore, Rose came out with an acoustic guitar and decided to play ‘Answer In One Of These Bottles’ which an eager fan had been calling out for all night. Before playing the song, Rose taught the audience the chorus and said that she’d rather play it completely acoustically with no microphones or amplifiers. The intimacy of the performance was increased by Andrew Combs and Spencer, tapping along a rhythm on bottles of Stella Artois while Rose performed two whistling solos.