Catherine McGrath @ Koko 28th November 2017

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Catherine McGrath is a mega talented country singer/ songstress all the way from Northern Ireland. Catherine moved to London two years ago because she’s extremely passionate about singing. As we approach 2018 Catherine McGrath’s wildest dreams have come true, for starters she’s signed to Warner Music and has released two exquisite EPs. Plus Catherine has supported country stars such as Una Healy, Cam, Canaan Smith, Picture This, Kelsea Ballerini, The Shires and Dan + Shay. Next March will see McGrath perform her very first headline show at The Camden Assembly and the debut album will follow that Spring.

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8pm came and Catherine and her band graced the stage. “Hi. My name’s Catherine McGrath and I’m going to sing a few songs I’ve written in the past few years” McGrath mentioned before opening with the dreamy Just In Case. I’ve heard this whimsical number live a handful of times but what made it slightly different was the fact Catherine performed it on an electric guitar. Anyways this was a fast paced cut aided by McGrath’s sticky sweet vocal tones and infectious lyrics. The blitzing chorus left me tapping my toe and my favourite portion had to be the middle 8 “Just In Case you’re my Prince Charming/ Just In Case dreams do come true/ Just In Case tonight’s a fairytale/ This one ends with you/ Just In Case this is a happy ever after in the making/ I know it’s probably not/ But hey, baby, I’m just saying”. I really adored the message that you shouldn’t deem a new relationship to fail straight away because you never know they could be the one. Hell Would Have To Freeze Over was infused to the end of Just In Case and it was yet another electrifying performance. Still this impeccable tune saw Catherine sing about someone who wants to win back an ex but she’s having none of it. So she sets him a list of impossible tasks if he wants to win her heart “Hell Would Have To Freeze Over/ Drink will start making you sober/ You would have to find me a 5 leaf clover/ Before I let you back in my heart/ Every war would have to be over/ The sun will start getting colder/ You’ll have to catch me a Supernova/ Before I let you back in my arms”. Now this glorious track packed a fierce punch, those verses left me mesmerised whilst the contagious chorus even had myself singing along.

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“I’ve been so excited for this whole tour because I love Dan  Shay and I love country music. I was really nervous about the first show and I walk out and the whole venue is full. My name’s Catherine McGrath, I recognise so many of you guys from other tours I’ve been doing this year” Catherine humbly said before getting stuck into Starting From Now. Taken from the sophomore EP, this was a gorgeous tune with dreamy lyrics which had me hooked from the get go. McGrath’s vibrant vocals were super sweet and I stood there transfixed whilst watching her perform this mesmerising number right in front of me. This had been well crafted as those lyrics were incredibly contagious and the stellar chorus had me tapping my toe to the beat. Basically this song is about an ex partner whom you have a weakness for, you however keep on taking them back even though you know that it’s going to end the same way. “I’ve loved country music since 12 years old and I lived in a really small town in Northern Ireland. So none of my friends didn’t know what country music even was. I moved over here a few years ago to start writing country music and I just went does anybody listen to this and I’m standing in this venue and all of you guys love country music. You are the people I wish I had as friends when I was 12” McGrath mentioned before embarking onto the first song she ever wrote. This coming in the shape of Cinderella which she wrote alongside Liz Rose. Anyways I found this captivating cut to be extremely charming and Catherine’s succulent vocals left me in an utter daze. Cinderella was a lovely ballad that had me swaying from side to side “What if tonight’s our night/ What if we kiss just right/ What if we found what we’re looking for in each others eyes/ What if it sets us free/ What if it’s meant to be/ What if it’s that easy/ What if the shoe fits me”.

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“I’m going to sing this song that’s my new single. It’s basically about this guy. I created in my head this situation between us, I don’t know if you’ve done that before but I feel I do that a lot. I create situations in my head. I thought me and this guy had something clearly we didn’t because I saw him again with his girlfriend” Catherine said to the crowd before getting stuck into Thought It Was Gonna Be Me. Everything about this majestical song was sheer perfection, McGrath’s vocals were candy coated and those memorable lyrics were drenched with plenty of emotion. Those lyrics were so clear cut as I can clearly picture the situation within my minds eye “I don’t know what hurts the worst/ Me alone or you with her/ Where all the time wasted on the things we never were/ The way her hand was in your hand/ Like I wanted mine to be/ Standing in the brand new dress I bought/ I Thought It Was Gonna Be Me”.

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“This is a song I wrote about a friend who thought me moving to London two years ago was stupid. It’s generally about those kinds of people who are just like “You can’t be a singer because that’s not a real thing. You have to go to University and do this and you have to get these grades in your tests”. I moved to London and I was telling these guys in the studio about it and we decided to write a song about the situation. It’s not a song about me being super successful because I know I’m not where I want to be yet but it’s about the fact I’m here trying even though I could fail miserably and go back home. It’s just about that whenever somebody makes fun of what ever you want to do, you’re still the one who goes out and tries to do it and they’re sitting home on their sofa talking about you. So I was like well she’s doing me a favour coz the more she tells people I’m stupid coz I’m a singer. They know my name and they might listen to my songs” Catherine McGrath mentioned to the sold out crowd before delving into Talk Of This Town. This song was a splendid masterpiece, those addictive autobiographical lyrics told Catherine’s story starting from when she move to London to chase the dream at the age of 18  “Then I turned eighteen/ Said “I’m gonna sing”/ Packed my bags and they laughed/ Said “you’ll never be anything” to appearing on TV screens and smiling in magazines. I well and truly adored Talk Of This Town, it always has me smiling from beginning to end and that captivating chorus even had me joining in “Well, talk of the town/ That’s what I am now/ Hear them whispering about the dreams I have/ Behind my back/ I’m just the girl with her head in the clouds/ Feet off the ground, I’m going up, no, I won’t come down/ So I’ll keep walking, you’ll keep talking/ I’ll move on and still be the Talk Of This Town”. Catherine may feel like she’s not super successful at the moment but she is sure going in the right direction to achieve that.

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“This song is about a guy again, another guy another girlfriend. It was 3 months after the break up and we were getting to know each other. And him and his ex were meant to see Coldplay together, so he was like why don’t you come instead and I went and he held my hand for some of it and he texted his ex girlfriend for the other half of it. Whenever we were together he is like on the phone to her or he’s talking about her. I went into the studio, had a massive rant and my co writer wrote everything I said into the laptop. It’s called Wild, it’s about a Coldplay concert and a guy who I really liked” Catherine said before capping off the spectacular set with Wild. This was a heart wrenching country ballad which painted a clear picture of what happened at that Coldplay concert “It was a Coldplay concert/ On a Thursday night/ 40,000 people with there hands in the sky/ Standing by your side I shoulda been singing/ Wishing you were mine, was all that I was thinking/ I know you wanted her when you looked in my eyes/ And you almost kissed me underneath the lights/ It should be me stuck on your mind/ Taking your time/ It should be me, stealing your heart driving you Wild”. I found the whole performance to be utterly enchanting and I truly feel for McGrath for really liking this guy who’s still hung up on his ex girlfriend. Now Catherine’s vocals were so sumptuous and who knew that one massive rant could be pieced together to form such an amazing song.

SET LIST

Just In Case
Hell Would Have To Freeze Over
Starting From Now
Cinderella
Thought It Was Gonna Be Me
Talk Of This Town
Wild

OVERALL: Now where do I start. Catherine McGrath is a tremendous talent who has huge potential to make waves next year. Not only will 2018 see Catherine unveil her untitled debut LP in the Spring but it will also see her making a name for herself on the headline circuit. The show at The Camden Assembly will be the start of many headline gigs to come.

We then get to the performance, Catherine McGrath once again nailed it and warmed up the whole crowd prior to Dan + Shay taking the stage. The 7 superb songs McGrath sang were incredibly mesmeric and leaves me anticipating seeing her at The Camden Assembly next March.

 

 

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