Apple Music Festival
Words: Lesley Hastings Pictures : Jamie-Lee Bassingthwaighte
With her recently released EP “Welcome to Cam Country” receiving much critical acclaim ( and rightly so as far as I am concerned, each track very strong and demonstrating both her writing and vocal abilities, read our review Here ) and her debut album on the way, I was so excited to hear that Cam would be opening for Carrie Underwood at this year’s i-tunes festival and even more excited to be given the opportunity to be there, thank you Sony Nashville UK and Think Country!
Even the pouring rain on the evening in question couldn’t dampen my spirits, and securing pole position in front of the stage at London’s fabulous Roundhouse, red wine in hand, I eagerly awaited this rising country star’s UK debut.
Talking to those around me, not many were familiar with her music ( although some had heard “Burning House” , her second single ,which has received a fair amount of airplay on country radio stations both sides of the Atlantic) but by the end of her all-too-brief set she had no doubt won many new fans judging by the comments I was hearing.
A mic stand draped with a yellow tambourine was evident on stage before this effervescent young lady appeared, together with her drummer and three guitarists, opening with my favourite song from her EP, “Half Broke Heart” . This is such a great track lyrically, as well as having a really catchy melody. Cam put the tambourine to good use providing some lively percussion, as she did throughout the set. Incidentally, yellow is Cam’s favourite colour, and she was wearing the same yellow shoes she’d donned for her Opry debut this Summer. From the start she oozed confidence and stage presence and she and her musicians were obviously totally at ease with each other. Seemingly genuinely amazed that some of the crowd ( myself included!) knew the words and were singing along, she confirmed it was her first experience of playing on these shores before asking ” Have any of you been in a relationship for too long?” and launching into “Mayday”, the only song she played that was not from her EP……..I wasn’t familiar with this one, but found it’s hook very infectious , loved the clever analogies it contained, and have since given it many listens on youtube https://youtu.be/7S3LCZAdZOA . With one of her guitarists making a quick switch to banjo for the next number “Runaway Train” , Cam announced “It’s time to get angry, has anyone ever dated a total jerk?” before launching headlong this uptempo, energetic number about getting even. Introducing the next song as “one for the ladies in the audience…..sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned!” the incredible a capella introduction to “My Mistake” began to ring out . Wow, this lady can sing!! All too soon she was announcing her closer, ” Burning House” ………as mentioned earlier her most successful to date and again, she seemed overwhelmed that it was one so many of the audience were familiar with. I love when artists explain the inspiration behind their writing and Cam told us this one came from a dream she’d had ( as she says in the song’s first line ) about an ex she owed an apology to. Unsure of what to say to him ( they were due to meet at a mutual friend’s party) she went to bed and dreamed he was in his house that was burning down…..she entered the house so that they could perish together. Such a beautiful ballad, sung with true feeling, it demonstrated how versatile a performer this lady is, and she had the captivated audience in the palm of her hand.
As she left the stage the crowd were buzzing, not just in anticipation of what was to come but in recognition of a new country star. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Cam.