Country star Clare Bowen makes her North East debut at the Sage Gateshead.

Many will be familiar with Clare Bowen through her role as Scarlett O’Connor in the ABC/CMT musical-drama television programme Nashville. However, with filming for the final series of the US hit TV show now wrapped up the New South Wales originating actress and singer/songwriter is now turning her attention to her solo music career.

Clare Bowen is currently on an extensive UK tour in support of her eponymous debut record, which was released at the end of last month. Tonight the Aussie chanteuse performs in front of a packed out crowd inside Hall One at the Sage Gateshead.

Bowen takes to the stage bedecked in a gold sequin dress, with bare feet, and sporting white feathers in her hair. She opens the show with a rousing rendition of “My Song”, whilst at the same time pleasing the many Scarlett fans in the audience.

Clare Bowen covers every inch of the stage, prowling the front row, often waving at patrons up on the balcony and even occasionally ventures out into the side aisles to get up close and personal with the crowd. The Nashville star immediately connects with the room whilst simultaneously making this huge concert hall feel intimate.

Bowen digs deep into her latest offering from the top of the show. The likes of the heartfelt “Doors and Corridors”, the rather poignant “Aves’ Song” and the beautiful “Lullabye” all feature early on. Each number in the set is accompanied with deeply positive and thought-provoking messages.

Tonight’s show is very much a family affair; for the duration of the evening, Clare Bowen is joined on stage by her six-piece backing band featuring husband Brandon Robert Young and brother Tim Bowen. The latter of which also opened the proceedings earlier in the night. However, these guys are not here to make up the numbers and feature prominently throughout the show whilst often taking centre stage.

Young takes his moment in the spotlight with an astounding performance of his soulful forthcoming single “Hate It For You”. On the strength of this number alone, it won’t be long before he is headling shows of this magnitude himself. Brandon further accompanies Bowen during a pair of spellbinding duets; “If I Didn’t Know You Better” and “Longer”, whilst assuming the role played by Sam Palladio in Nashville.

Proving there are no weak links in this formidable band both Tim Bowen and Colin Linden each take the lead during “From Here On Out” and “Remedy” respectively. The latter of which being a number which Linden wrote during his time with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

As Bowen heads towards the finish line she continues to perfectly balance her original material with tracks written and recorded for Nashville. A show-stopping performance of the Scarlett O’Connor signature tune “Black Roses” is one of the many highlights of the evening. Likewise, love song “All The Beds I’ve Made” and the deeply emotive “Warrior”, which each feature on Bowen’s latest solo album truly showcase her astounding songwriting ability.

A crowd-pleasing medley of country classics and the joyous Celtic tinged “Who Hid The Whiskey” brings the main set to an explosive conclusion. Bowen leaving the stage to a standing ovation from the North East Americana faithful.

Tonight Clare Bowen proves that as spreads her wings and embarks on her solo music career that no matter what she turns her hand to whether that be on stage, screen or in the recording studio, that this incredibly versatile artist can do it all and do it well. 

Clare Bowen
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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