Cam - Bush Hall
With Country2Country only last weekend, some of the American artists are hanging around a little longer before they return to the US. This gave us the perfect opportunity to go to Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush to see Yamaha and After Show Party performer Cam.
The night began with a slight delay, not only doors opening later then they should have, but as soon as Catherine McGrath was preparing to open, there were some sound issues with the microphones. That aside, Catherine began with "Hell Would Have To Freeze Over" which was well received by the large crowd. A newly released song in the shape of "Starting From Now" followed, about how a relationship has ended, and you know you shouldn't message the other person, but somehow you keep going back to them. "Cinderella" came next, co-written with the legendary Liz Rose when Catherine went to Nashville, which can be found on her first acoustic EP. Catherine played a cover of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" ease she was worried that people wouldn't know her music and would rather hear something they know. It was a good rendition of the cover, but I think Catherine has enough good material that as needn't have worried and could have played another of her own songs.. When her sister came on stage to join in with the Nashville track "Back Home" it fitted perfectly with the set. The sweet harmonies of the girls exchanging smiling faces was a great performance which appropriately was rewarded with loud applause. Catherine rounded of the set with "Never Wanna Fall In Love", a track soon to be released, so something to keep an eye out for.
The night then took a peculiar turn with the speakers playing a bizarre compilation of songs during the set change; starting suitably with the Dixie Chicks, but then some profanity rich tracks of Kendrick Lemar?! Not sure who was let loose on the song choices! Oh well! Cam soon took to the stage wearing a white diamanté jacket with multi-coloured beaded fringing. She kicked of with strong songs from her debut album including "Mistake" and "Want It All". "Mayday" was a slight disappointment tonight, as it was backed with an annoying fake drum beep noise throughout the entire song! However the crowd remained in awe of Cam as she moved on to “Hungover on Heartache” and “Half Broke Heart”; the latter which came with Cam acting out the lyrics of “wrong size shoe can look good on you”. A cover having been played earlier on BBC Radio2 with Chris Evans was Tammy Wynette’s finest “Stand By Your Man”, followed by the songwriter legend Lori McKenna’s “Old Man Young Women”.
Tonight got an airing of three tracks not found on Cam’s debut album. The first with a chorus of “No one gets to heaven if anybody else is left behind” which came from a story about her Swedish band members in Nashville. “Get ‘em Cam” was a bassy tongue-in-cheek number, about Cam giving herself a pep talk during a date. The final track “Fireball Whiskey” was played at the C2C after show party, which promoted irresponsibly drinking; not my favourite of songs but a good laugh nevertheless complete with Cam’s actions matching the lyrics.
The banjo came out for the album title “Untamed” and the oddly shaped stage lights, perhaps resembling train tracks were lit in all sorts of patterns for “Runaway Train” which had Cam’s rocking her mop of hair from side to side. She was clearly having the time of her life on the Bush Hall stage, as were the crowd singing back the lyrics. One of my favourites on the album “Village” saw Cam take up the electric guitar, a surprise for many to realise that she not only had superb vocals, but could also play! The track came with the introduction about a school friend that Cam used to spend time with, later in life whilst the friend was 8 months pregnant her brother passed away. Cam poured emotion when singing the lyrics which touched everyone and resulted in being one of the evening’s highlights.
The mood was brought back up for another crowd singalong for “Country Ain’t Never Been Pretty” before closing the set with “Burning House” which had the hall lit with phone lights. After great applause, Cam strangely remained on stage and began signing tickets and album covers for those close enough to the front. Once she realised that because she had advertised she would sign anything that wished to be signed, nobody was leaving the venue! She then left the stage to go behind the scenes for 10 minutes or so which resulted in a few people heading off home, before coming out and continuing to sign for those who waited. It was nice for such a big artist to spend time meeting fans for signings afterwards.
Cam promises to come back to the UK at some point in the future, and is currently working on album number 2.