I suspect that like many, I first heard Laura Cantrell on John Peels show. He had a soft spot for her and plugged her ‘Not the trembling kind’ LP relentlessly (“It’s sweet 16 this year”). She also has a new LP out of BBC sessions from around that time. Pure country music – no frills, just from the heart. I thought she’d be good…….but I didn’t think she’d be THAT good!
Met up with Gary and Steve (who saw Laura last time she played Leeds at the Wardrobe) and Mark and Kev who I hadn’t seen for far too long. First up was Georgie Breakfast (“Geordie Breakfast?….isn’t that a Greggs pasty and a bottle of Newcy Brown?”) who’s English, but moved to the USA where he met Laura and has since returned, to write songs about the rain – he has a mellow finger picking style.
How to describe Laura Cantrell’s voice? ‘Perfect’ is word that springs to mind. Effortless and beautiful. Pure and straight to the heart. Her band were all wonderful players and sang great harmonies too, but guitarist Mark Spencer was something else…..how does he do that!? He also got to play the Brudenells battered old piano which they’d somehow got on stage. Stories of postcards from John Peel, seeing Merle Haggard live (and this one about his wife), Gig disasters with only 10 people, 2 of them a drunken couple kept the evening running along just fine.
The encore was a version of New Order’s ‘Love Vigilantes’. Then someone asked for ‘Whiskey makes you sweeter’ “Ah, you’re still thirsty for the old stuff. We’ve not been doing that one on this tour but…” and she did a wonderful job at getting all the crowd to join in. “What a great room, and it’s only a Tuesday night!”. Ms Cantrell could light up any room on any night – you really, really should go and see her!
A wee pick of Gary’s beard meeting Laura after the show…..
Bob the Chiropodist