Catherine McGrath in support of Dan & Shay – O2 Academy 2 Birmingham

Catherine McGrath has been making waves within the UK country music scene and is a rapidly rising star. With the likes of Spotify and Apple Music giving her their support, the latter of which has compared Catherine to Taylor Swift, she is surely a superstar in the making. Catherine has opened for some incredible acts this year including the likes of Kelsea Ballerini and Canaan Smith, this trend continues with her support on Dan & Shay’s UK tour.

For the first time, Catherine has the backing of a full band and it has led to her solidifying her place as not only a great live performer, but also an equally talented singer-songwriter. The 7-song set began with the great ‘Just in Case’. One of my personal tracks from Catherine’s ‘Starting from Now’ EP and the perfect song to warm up the crowd. The catchy guitar and percussion really added to Catherine’s incredible vocals. If it was not already obvious how much Catherine has achieved recently, a simple scan around the room revealed that many in the audience were singing along.

‘Hell Would Have to Freeze Over’ was next up and the slower pace and sassy lyrics paired perfectly with the band assisting Catherine. The percussion pairs well with the lyrics, whilst the guitar makes for easy listening. The near perfect country-pop tune of ‘Starting from Now’ followed and, as my personal favourite, I had grand expectations. These were shattered almost immediately. It was almost as if the song had been perfectly engineered for live performances. Although this was a relatively small gig, it is clear to see that ‘Starting from Now’ would perform well at much larger venues.

‘Cinderella’, Catherine’s newest single ‘Thought It Was Gonna Be Me’ and ‘Talk of This Town’ solidified my belief that performing is what she’s destined to do. Her ability to draw a crowd’s attention to her lyrics amazed me, a couple who were stood next to me commenting at this point on how they had wished that they had discovered Catherine sooner.

To end the short but sweet set was an unreleased track, ‘Wild’. Previous performances of this song have led to social media outcry for a studio release and it is clear to see why. The country storytelling within the lyrics, coupled with Catherine’s genuine emotion when singing, really strikes a chord with listeners. I’ve heard it once and already I am in love with it.

With full band backing, it’s clear to see that Catherine is incredibly comfortable on stage and is really going to continue to succeed as a singer-songwriter. Her incredible vocals and comfort on stage are great to see in a relatively new artist and this coupled with delightful stories within her lyrics, are inspiring to see in such a young artist. I highly recommend seeing Catherine perform live if you’re ever given the opportunity. You will surely not be disappointed.

Rating: 5/5

1) Just in Case
2) Hell Would Have to Freeze Over
3) Starting from Now
4) Cinderella
5) Thought It Was Gonna Be Me
6) Talk of This Town
7) Wild

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