I've been a bit quiet for the last few weeks due to a combination of a full workload at my day job as a marketing manager and I also took some time away to visit Krakow in Poland. The time away and visiting Auschwitz whilst I was there has had a major impact on my outlook on life. Before I went away, I was feeling a little low but after visiting such a sad and hopeless place, it made me feel grateful about my life and the fact that life is too short and you should make every moment count. A lesson I already knew but after learning about what happened at Auschwitz really brought it home.
A few weeks before this trip, Catherine McGrath was on tour and I attended her Bristol show at Thekla with my friends Mandy and Jess. It was seeing her play live again that started me on the road to feeling better and by the time I left Poland, I have been feeling like my positive and outgoing self again.
Supporting the tour was Catherine's sister Mary McGrath who at only 17 is very talented, she has a beautiful voice of her own. There's a whole lot of talent in that family and I particularly enjoyed her rendition of 'Castle on a Hill' and a duet of Shania Twain's 'Looks like we made it' with Catherine. The other support act was Starling who has a very strong voice, the music wasn't country but with the right direction I think she could be successful as the voice was good, it just wasn't for me.
Although the show was a Monday night, it was a packed evening with a wide range of people attending. Catherine doesn't need any tricks, with the support of her talented band, she made each and every song memorable. Opening the show with 'Good Goodbyes' through to 'Lost In the Middle', which is my favourite as the imagery in the song really does make you feel like you're lost in the middle of a country song. Also featured was 'Good At Love' and 'Fix You' which led into 'Wild'. 'Dodged A Bullet' was very moving and brought a tear to my eye, you could tell it was a deeply personal song for Catherine and I'm really pleased she included it in the set. There is a raw vulnerability in that song and I think she is brave to include it but sets her apart from other acts because she is willing to put herself out there in a very honest way.
Catherine stayed behind and met every single fan that attended and it was lovely to meet her again. I had met her at C2C at a BBC Radio 2 session with Twinnie and Andy Brown. I think this says a lot about her personality as there were hundreds of people to see, I think she'll only be able to do this for a little while longer as I would put every penny I have on the line to say that this girl is going to go far. She is one to watch so catch her whilst you can. Put simply, Catherine McGrath's music makes me feel happy.
My top 5 Catherine McGrath songs:
1. Lost In The Middle
2. Hell Would Have To Freeze Over
3. Thought It Was Going To Be Me
4. Dodged A Bullet
Go on, have a listen, you won't regret it!