REVIEW: Cam – Live At The Tabernacle, London

LifeInASong_UK

I couldn’t help but feel that Cam was massively under-utilised at C2C this year. After being included in the main artist announcement, I was looking forward to a main stage set but for some odd reason, she only got 3 songs on the Yamaha stage and an after-show appearance. She’s more than worthy of a main stage slot and many C2C-goers I’ve discussed this with have agreed. Her headline show at the Tabernacle on Friday more than made up for it as we were treated to a near 2-hour Cam feast, and it was one of those iconic, stand-out shows that those in attendance will remember for a very long time.

The venue itself contributed to that. I’d never been to the Tabernacle before; located in Notting Hill, it’s an aesthetically-pleasing, grade II-listed building, originally built in 1887 as a church. It’s now been converted into a theatre with music studios, an art gallery and a bar. The 270-capacity theatre provided the perfect setting for a very special intimate gathering of adoring Cam fanatics for a wonderful night of music.

With no support act, Cam came on stage at around 8:40, accompanied by her two Swedish guitarists. She kicked things off with a string of fan favourites from her ‘Untamed’ album, including ‘My Mistake’, ‘Mayday’ and ‘Half Broke Heart’ which are all worthy of much more commercial success than they actually garnered. It was such a treat to hear the stories behind the songs too; she introduced ‘Want It All’ (a personal favourite) with the tale of how she left everything behind and gambled on a career in music, telling herself not to have any “rocking chair regrets”. It was her introductions to the songs that made the show what it was, as her lovely personality was given a platform to shine.

As if I didn’t love her enough already, she then performed a simply stunning cover of Lori McKenna’s ‘Old Men, Young Women’, one of the highlights of Lori’s ‘The Bird And The Rifle’ album that I would never have dreamed she would include in her set list. A slightly more up-beat version than the original, Cam pulled it off with flying colours. Let’s be honest, she could sing the phone book and I’d buy it. That was the beauty of this show – we had the opportunity to hear some unusual additions to the set list, including a rendition of Tom Kimmel’s ‘No One Gets To Heaven (If Anybody Else Gets Left Behind)’ which was the highlight of the show for me. Cam fell in love with the song when she saw Tom perform it at the Bluebird Café, and she gave us an absolutely spine-tingling performance that almost had me in tears. Check out this track on YouTube – it’s a stunner.

She even performed ‘Down This Road’, a beautiful track that was released long before ‘Burning House’ hit the airwaves…one for the die-hards! It’s great to see the listening stats for this one going up and up on Spotify; a track that deserves so much more exposure than it was ever given, tugging on the heart strings with a story of coming back home after being away and feeling at peace. Cam’s empowering ‘Go Get Em, Cam’ also went down really well and seems to relate to everybody; it’s that get-up-and-go song for anybody worried about screwing up a date! A perfect track that encapsulates Cam’s lovely humour and truly infectious personality.

‘Fireball Whiskey’ lit up the room! Such a catchy, categorically country song which Cam pitched to Fireball Whiskey long ago, only to be told that it promoted “irresponsible drinking”. “Well, what’s responsible drinking?!!” she said, receiving cheers from the crowd. “It was going fairly well until it all came up again, but my breath was still cinnamon whiskey fresh!” – brilliant lyrics!

Towards the end, she joked “I’ve got a few songs left. Just wanted to let you know so you don’t go and pee during Burning House”. And the moment everybody was waiting for closed the show – the song that made her career. A flawless performance as always, and she made everybody put their arms around each other and sing the final chorus with her. A wonderful moment which put the finishing touches to a truly mesmerising show.

Cam is one of the most exciting talents in country music with one of the purest, most gorgeous voices in the business, and I can’t wait for album two. This will easily go down as one of the best shows of the year and it was such a privilege to witness. Thanks for such a memorable night, Cam.

Dan Wharton (@LifeInASong_Dan)

Next Post

INTERVIEW: CAM

Dan sat down with Cam in London to discuss her second trip overseas this year, wanting to make the UK a ‘priority’, info about album number two

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