Catherine McGrath – The Haunt, Brighton – 15/09/2018

I went to see Catherine play a full set for the first time on Saturday and I was completely blown away by her performance – as before I’d only ever seen her play a few songs in an acoustic ‘In The Round’ at C2C earlier this year – and I was so happy we made the trip down to the Sussex coast to see her.

But the real star of the show was her sister Mary McGrath who opened the show, with a short but sweet 3 song set. I was so blown away by songs that she did (2 originals and a cover) that she seemed wiser beyond her young years. Seriously – how is she only 17?

Catherine’s set started a lot earlier than we thought it would – but it was clear that she had done this so she could meet every single person after the show inside the venue before the curfew got everyone kicked out. She’s a good’un!

I think it was naive of me to expect her set to be more chilled back than it was – her debut album Talk of the Town may have some bigger songs on it, but I didn’t think they were huge and arena-filling, until they’re played live with a full band and I take it all back!

The venue was by no means massive, so it felt like a nice intimate show with lots of opportunities for Catherine to talk about her songs and her writing processes, but the room was absolutely packed and it was absolutely buzzing all night. Personal highlights for me have to be when she brought Mary back on stage to do a Shania cover (Love a bit of Shania… obviously) and hearing a packed room sing Talk of the Town back to her. The only thing missing from the set was an encore, which the entire room was begging for, but as she had ended on the title track, there was very little that could be done!

At the end of her set, she then headed to the back and met everyone, and she did it properly. There was no rushing and hurrying along from security and she took proper time to chat with everyone. We spent our time talking about how fit her band are and how none of them are single which was very sad for all of us!

If you get an opportunity, go and see Catherine on this tour – even if you just stay for Mary’s set you will have witnessed something truly special and there are massive futures ahead of both girls!

Review written by Emily J Weall (

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