Catherine Feeny

Norwich Playhouse

Norwich Playhouse

You could say Catherine Feeny has lived the dream in reverse. While the prospect of stateside success fuels many aspiring stars, the formerly Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter decamped to Norfolk to record her acclaimed second album, Hurricane Glass.

Last night she set out to show her adopted city why critics have likened her to such luminaries as Joni Mitchell.

On first hearing, such claims seem wildly exaggerated. Feeny has a tuneful, Sheryl Crow-like voice and is undoubtedly an assured performer who is remarkably comfortable on stage - between-song chats encompass news items and memories of school. But too often the songs, lovingly presented and tastefully arranged as they are, veer dangerously close to being simply insipid. Mr Blue is nice enough with its staccato piano and artful instrumentation, but so slight it threatens to blow away.

She is much more engaging when things move up a gear, and with its moody chord changes and driving rhythm, Dangerous Country is reminiscent of Gold-era Ryan Adams.

While her album would perhaps grow on you, as a performer there is little to lift her above the current crop of similar artists.

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