Laura Oakes in support of Jess & the Bandits at The Musician, Leicester – 8th February 2018 – Review by Liam Lewis

For those of you familiar with the UK country scene then without a shadow of a doubt you would have heard the name Laura Oakes. Recently announced as performing at Buckle and Boots festival, Laura is a gem in the British country music scene. Her recent session with Bob Harris on Radio 2 in December further displaying her incredible vocals and ability to write songs that hit you hard.

Laura has recently been supporting Jess & the Bandits on their UK tour, an excellent choice to get the crowds ready for the high energy set that Jess & the Bandits are well known for. Laura and guitarist Pete created an incredible stage presence for a simple acoustic set, opening the set with ‘Glitter’. A sass laden song with a rhythm that you cannot help but tap your feet to.

Following ‘Glitter’ was a song that I’m sure many will relate to, ‘Lazy’. It was here that Laura’s vocal control really shone through, as well as her ability to own the stage. An arduous task to pull off for an acoustic set. Next up, the title track of Laura’s latest EP ‘Nashville Stole your Girl’. A reduction in the tempo compared to the first part of the set; ‘Nashville’ is an impressively well written and structured song, displaying an incredible talent of not just being able to write an emotional tune, but also to write intelligent lines such as “or Blame Johnny as he was the one who got her walking the line.”

‘Better in Blue jeans’ picked up the tempo once again and has since become a new favourite of mine. The melodic guitar perfectly accompanying Laura’s incredible voice. ‘Whatever You Want’ continued the trend of melodic guitar and incredible vocals. The crowd were captivated by Laura and I’ve never felt so at home with a crowd of people at a gig. Everyone in awe at how impressive Laura was.

A great acoustic set always has a great cover song to sing along to. This one was no different with Laura choosing Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’. Following up and leading to the finish of a notable set was ‘Snakes and Ladders’. Utilising the country guitar melodies that we have come to love, Laura’s great voice and a little bit of a sing along from the audience, it was the perfect way to end the set.

If you have the chance to see Laura live, then I highly recommend it. She’s a great live act and her voice will have you captivated.

Set list:

  1. Glitter
  2. Lazy
  3. Nashville Stole Your Girl
  4. Better in Blue Jeans
  5. Whatever You Want
  6. Rocket Man (Elton John Cover)
  7. Snakes and Ladders

Review written by Liam Lewis (

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