Coming all the way from Liverpool you have country/ pop singer/ songwriter Laura Oakes. I have a friend who speaks very highly of Laura and when she announced this exquisite event at the Green Note I decided to check her out.
“How you all doing? Are you still doing OK” Oakes said before getting right into it. The opening tune was the fast paced Glitter. Taken from the Nashville Stole Your Girl EP this glorious track sounded ever so impeccable. Oozing plenty of country/ Americana vibes the pleasant Glitter was incredibly infectious. My favourite part had to be the punchy upbeat chorus. Also Oakes’s vocals were sugary sweet which resulted in a cheery tune which had me smiling all throughout. “I’ve recently put a brand new EP out called Nashville Stole Your Girl. It’s an acoustic EP. I wrote this with Pete. We wrote this one together and is our anthem for and laid back people who get mistaken for being Lazy, like myself. Pete’s idea, wrote it about me, was not happy when I first heard it” Laura mentioned before getting stuck into Lazy. This whimsical number had me hooked from the get go. Laura’s velvety smooth vocals resonated plenty of Americana goodness and those super sassy lyrics were tremendous “Please don’t blame me/ If you wont go my tempo/ I’m not Lazy/ I just make it look easy”. Whilst Laura Oakes tuned her guitar Pete did an improv ditty which had everyone in stitches. “If any of you were listening to BBC Radio 2 on Thursday you may have heard we went in and played this live for Bob Harris. Which is bit of a bucket list moment for myself” Oakes said before delving into the sophomore EPs title track and this being Nashville Stole Your Girl. Now this succulent song was so enchanting, Laura’s vocal tones were literally a breath of fresh air and then those smooth/ luscious lyrics were mesmerising. This gorgeous number was country through and through. Those autobiographical lyrics told the story of a girl whose one and true love is Nashville “If you’re looking for something to blame/ Here in this world/ Nashville Stole Your Girl”. Following on it was time for a captivating cover and this coming in the shape of Elton John’s Rocket Man. I have to say Laura Oakes perfectly delivered this and added her very own majestical county twist.
The boys then vacated the stage and Laura then delved into the oldish Whatever You Want which featured on the debut self titled EP. Laura’s bittersweet vocal tones were so beautiful and then you had the light/ fluffy lyrics which left me in a trance. Whatever You Want was literally breathtaking and had me grinning until the very end “I’ll be Whatever You Want/ And if love comes your way/ Then it’s not my part to play/ I don’t know/ I’ll be in the zone/ But I’ll still be Whatever You Want”. Once over it was back onto something from the new EP Nashville Stole Your Girl. The song in question being Better In Blue Jeans and all I can say is WOW. This was a stunning track, those lyrics were bright/ breezy, Oakes’s vocals were candy coated and then you had the upbeat melody which uplifted my spirits. Better In Blue Jeans was a fun fueled jam which left me utterly enthralled “What’s up with the new style/ What’s with all the suits/ Where you hang those Levis/ Where do you want those boots/ That black tie just a white lie/ That doesn’t work on me/ I liked you Better In Blue Jeans”. From the 4 tunes featured on the Nashville Stole Your Girl EP this has to be my favourite by far. “So this next song I’m going to do for you. I kinda wrote about people like you. So this is about you guys really. You might be thinking that’s a bit weird she’s written a song about me. I spent all of my teenage years growing up sitting in my bedroom learning how to play Dixie Chicks and Martina McBride songs because I could only sit in my bedroom because you couldn’t go out and hear them anywhere, you definitely didn’t have any friends that also wanted to listen to. I just spent the whole time learning those songs, being in love with country music and just wishing that there was other people out there that loved it too. And here you all are” Laura said before delving into the dazzling Dreamin’. Now this tantalising tune was a compelling foot stomper. Plenty of country vibes resonated from this soothing song, Laura’s dreamy vocals emitted warmth and then those lush lyrics sunk there claws into me. “Thank you so so much for coming down and being so lovely and amazing. I hope you’ve enjoyed tonight” Oakes humbly said to the intimate audience before hinting at more Laura Oakes Presents shows next year. Anyways it was time for yet another oldie and this being Snakes & Ladders. I have so much admiration for this number, those faultless lyrics were uber contagious and that killer chorus was incredibly quirky “I climbed my ladder right to the top/ Then a snake comes along to push me off/ And now I don’t wanna start again/ I’ve got a feeling I know how it ends”. The curtain then closed with the gorgeous Let Him Fly. Laura called on Kerri to share the tiny stage with her. Originally sung by Patti Griffin and covered by Dixie Chicks Oakes’ interpretation was simply spellbinding. Both Kerri and Laura’s vocals infused together perfectly which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge.
Once over Kerri Watt and Laura Oakes vacated the stage which then left the whole audience wanting more. Oakes then came back for an unplanned encore and left us all with her own version of Bonnie Raitt’s Angel Of Montgomery. Laura’s own interpretation was simply sublime and I was basically sitting in awe.
Nashville Stole Your Girl
Whatever You Want
Better In Blue Jeans
Snakes & Ladders
Let Him Fly
Angel From Montgomery
OVERALL: This was one sterling evening spent watching support acts I truly love. Kerri Watt is a sensational singer/ songwriter with some incredibly infectious tunes under her belt (Paris will be my all time fave) and then you have Twinnie who has MASSIVE potential to be the next big thing now that she’s been snapped up by BMG.
We then get to Laura Oakes. This was the first time for me witnessing her in the flesh and I kind of regret that I didn’t cotton on sooner. Based on the material showcased I’m surprised Oakes isn’t signed to a record label. She in fact performed the Nashville Stole Your Girl EP in it’s entirety (bar Elton John cover Cage The Songbird) and those originals were mind blowing. Laura’s songwriting skills are out of this world and her vocals are extremely enchanting.
Oakes is definitely a country star in the making and I for one cannot wait to hear what 2018 holds for her.