Cam – Islington Assembly Hall – Sunday 8th April. Review by Shannon Hynes

Regretfully I wasn’t in attendance at Cam’s first headline show in London at The Tabernacle in 2017, as everyone was raving about it last Sunday prior to her gig at the Islington, little did they know, they were about to be blown away again.

Cam, might just be the brightest ray of sunshine in country music, if her vivacious blonde curls and her trademark colour of yellow isn’t enough, her persona is just so goddam adorable. This really shone through at her headline show at The Islington Assembly Hall, as did her constant gratitude towards the UK.

Kicking off the night, was Essex lassy Lisa Wright. Lisa has vastly created a name for herself amongst the UK Country scene, as was proven with the rapturous applause she was showered in on Sunday. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen a UK support act receive this response before, the crowd were in love with her. One of the highlights of Lisa’s set and in fact the whole night for me was the sentimental song entitled ‘Tennessee’. Co written with fellow UK Country songwriter Kaity Rae, ‘Tennessee’ is a tribute to the greats of country music such as Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. Oh my goodness, this song is so beautiful! It resonates so deeply with me and hits me right in the gut that’s for sure, I’m sure a recorded version is somewhere on the horizon. It was blindingly obvious how honoured Wright was to be at the Islington Assembly Hall on Sunday evening and the joy she exuded had the whole audience in the palm of her hand, or shall we say in the delicate lilt of her delectable voice.

Then was time for the lovely lady herself, to almighty applause Cam danced on to the stage surprisingly to begin with latest hit single ‘Diane’. Although I wasn’t expecting this to be the starting song, it kicked off the night perfectly and immediately had the crowd singing at the top of their lungs praying for forgiveness as the song entails. Along with ‘Diane’, Cam blessed us with most of her ‘Untamed’ discography including renowned debut hit ‘Burning House’ and my personal favourite ‘Half Broke Heart.’ The set was very stripped back which was wonderful for the intimate setting we were amongst. With just two guitar players, this allowed Cam to go more in depth when discussing her songs. As more talking time was allowed, we were really let in to experience Cam’s personality, and hilarious she certainly is. Referencing Sex and the City, drunken mistakes and one night stands, it just catapulted all the strong women in the room into some sort of ‘Girl Power Heaven’, and it’s so clear to see where Cam gets her inspiration for such relatable songs such as ‘My Mistake’.

We were treated to some new music, which was hoped for and ever so delightful. Again with the blonde bombshell, sassy attitude, songs entitled ‘Manhunt’ and ‘Fireball’ made their UK debut. The latter, Cam wrote for a fireball whiskey advert but was in fact told it was condoning irresponsible drinking, at this, the audience just got louder, the only thing that could’ve made this moment better would’ve been a fireball whiskey shot… I mean, duhhh! Heading to the other end of the emotional spectrum, Cam played another song off of her secretive album, ‘Forgetting You When I’m Alone’, O.M.G, this song is sensational and heightens the thirst for her new album outrageously! The lonesome in this song lyrically and in Cam’s impressive vocal range, gives you goosebumps in several parts of the song, especially when Cam sends her voice into a unfaltering falsetto at the end of the chorus, serenading the words of the title.

One of the fan favourites of the evening nearing the end of her set, was ‘Country Ain’t Never Been Pretty’. Cam made us Londoners feel like we were true Southerners for four minutes, or at least wanting to be. Everyone completely let go and sang along to the hilariously entertaining lyrics such as ‘Who needs brand name jeans? Your man’s hands are gonna cover the label anyway.’ I tell you what, the lyric ‘it’s alright, to look kind of shitty, coz Country ain’t never been pretty’, never had a truer moment than the crowd dancing along to this, well, in my case anyway.

Cam completely blew London away last Sunday, I think we definitely showed her a need for a headline tour over here is high on our list. Cam is one of the brightest, most exciting women in country music right now. She is strong, independent and such a good, but also important role model for young women. That is why we love her here at Belles and Gals!

Shannon Hynes

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