The Write Like a Girl bandwagon continues to gather momentum with another full house, this time at its new location the Water Rats. Such is its gravitational pull that it seems to be able to pull in more artists and audience with each show - in fact the eagle eyed might have spotted Lauren Ray, a talented singer in her own right checking tickets on arrival . In a crowd packed with various recognizable faces there was one person who would have such a bearing on the nights proceedings that we'll start off by giving them a mention even though they will not play or sing a note all evening. Without Kaity Rae, a large chunk of the evening would not have been written and Vic Allen's latest EP would have been bereft of a Producer, so hats off to her and let's hope one day we can see her on stage at one of these events.
It was to be something of an end of year extravaganza, with 25 songs spread across 2 sets, with the core team Vic Allen, Emily Faye and Beth Keeping taking over the second half of the evening, after handing over the first half to Liv Austen, Charlotte Campbell and Katie Coleman . Each artist brought something slightly different to the performance, with the second half just edging it with a greater degree of interaction, the sort that comes when you have played together so many times before but make no mistake both halves were absolutely top drawer entertainment.
Vic Allen still riding high on the back of her excellent headlining Green Note EP launch continues to be compelling in a live environment.
Her whole demeanor oozes confidence, her guitar playing and singing have moved to a whole new level and it is Vic who will open each round in the second half. Starting with "Enough", with its sumptuous chorus, which had some additional backing vocals and a solo from Danny - got things off to a great start. Her second song of the evening was an unrecorded song, that had been so powerful at the Green Note show, "I Can", the title being a somewhat harsh realisation that the end of a relationship was not going to be something that she could not get over.
Round Three saw Vic open with another unreleased song "Healing", already vying to be another Vic classic, it's full of deliciously wordy verses attached to the most exquisite of choruses - the beauty of that pay off line "I Think I'm Healing" being simply brilliant, accentuated by a quite lovely vocal. Vic's final contribution of the evening seemed to come around far too quickly, "Talk" came with it's classic quirky chorus to which Beth added some additional vocals to fill out the sound even more.
"I love that song" cried out an audience member on its completion - that was the effect it had.
Second in the round was Emily Faye, it's been a little while since we last caught up with Emily but seemingly in the blink of an eye she seems to have become one of the UK's most mainstream Countryish singers. Her opening tune "Leaving Looks Good On You" written by three Nashville songwriters had everything that you could possibly hope for in a country song.
Returning a favour from Monday night, where Jake Morell had performed an Emily co-write when he was supporting Lindsay Ell, Emily chose to play a Jake Morell co write that was completed with Sue McMillan. "Looking For A Real Thing" once again vocally reinforced her country credentials, with this nicely wordy song establishing a great narrative.
Emily's third contribution was currently untitled but we'll go for "Grow Through", for now. An outstanding performance on the night, full of emotion, vulnerability, with different volumes of vocal giving the song some real drama. Closing out her contributions for the evening, Emily got the crowd into a singing mood with some backing "doo doo's" on "Sucks To Be You". Another great performance with some great stagecraft displayed - we'll definitely need to catch up with Emily again really soon.
Final place in the Round went to Beth Keeping, who opened with "Strangers In The Same City", bringing out the beauty of her chorus in this tale of dating in the not so big city, and also pointing out that dilemma "I'm scared I'll see you I'm scared that I won't". For the second round Beth unveiled a new song "2 Seats Down" with a hilarious back story of meeting an ex who used to be so close at of all places a wedding. A song packed with narrative and observation, the sort of song that only country artists seem to attempt, truly absorbing and the Water Rats was deadly quiet even as Beth's vocal dropped to barely a whisper. Beth's songs always seem to come with such great back stories, and "San Francisco" was no different. By her own admission, it is difficult to play live due to it going quite high, but it didn't take away from it being a catchy tune that manged to elicit a singalong from the assembled crowd, which is surely a testament to a good song.
Beth closed out the main show with her final song "Building Bridges in The Dance Floor", another testimony to the power of song to heal
A simply fantastic evening, brought to an end with a group take on one of Beth's songs "No Hard Feelings", with everyone having part to play including the audience who provided a rhythm section,
The evening had begun with a completely separ