Concorde 2 Brighton 20th March 2017
Having had almost a week without any gigs I was looking forward to seeing Canaan Smith play in Brighton at Concorde2. The venue is a multi award winning live music venue and nightclub. It has played host to a diverse cross section of events for many years. Concorde 2 is a classic Victorian building on the promenade in Brighton, originally used as tea rooms in the 1800’s. In the 1960’s it became a notorious bikers café and in the 1970’s an amusement arcade, before it was transformed to its current glory in 2000. Concorde2 is a firm favourite on the UK’s touring circuit with many bands returning on a regular basis.
In recent years I have seen The Shires, John & Jacob, The Cadillac Three, Smooth Hound Smith, Frankie Ballard, Whiskey Myers and Striking Matches to name a few.
Canaan was supported by the very talented Belfast born Catherine McGrath. She has a beautiful voice and reminded us of a young Taylor Swift, this was emphasised in her song ‘Cinderella’ co-written with Liz Rose who also wrote with Taylor Swift.
Canaan is very popular with the UK country music scene and stole the shows when he supported The Shires in November and December last year. He is popular on social media regularly interacting with his fans.
Canaan moved to Nashville from Virginia in 2009 to pursue his music career and was immediately successful with his co-written song Love & Theft’s top ten hit ‘Runaway’.
His follow up ‘We Got Us’ made a brief presence in the charts 2012. In 2014 he released ‘Love You Like That’ in July 2014 which finally made it to number one towards the end of 2015. His most recent single from Bronco is “Hole in a Bottle’ peaking Top 30 in 2015-2016.
Brighton was his penultimate UK gig following his sets at Country to Country festival. He played two gigs at The Indigo (BBC Radio 2 Stage) and killed it both times. The venue holds 600 and was two thirds full. I think that the gig being a Monday night, post C2C and the fact that he played in Portsmouth and was due to play London the following day affected the number of tickets sold.
However, it did not seem to affect him. He played a great acoustic set together with his guitarist Stephen Whitfield of whom Canaan said that he ‘rescued him from the circus’. Singing songs from his album Bronco, named after the car his brother drove. His brother sadly died when Canaan was a young boy. The title song was sung to a silent audience and his voice echoed around the venue as we gave it the respect the song required. It was a great set and Canaan played most of the songs on his album, although I was hoping for the punchy American Muscle track which was not played. His song ‘One of Those’ was played and he told us the UK were getting the first play of the song which was about a sassy girl, like Miranda Lambert. He closed the evening with ‘Love you like that’ his hit single from 2015-2016 with the audience enthusiastically singing along with him.
At the end Canaan kindly signed and posed for photographs with us.