C2C Country To Country, 02, London, 10th March 2019

The passion for some forms of modern country music is well and truly alive in the UK. This touring festival of Country/Americana acts which travels to the UK and around the world once per year is a much bigger affair than I had imagined it to be. It is the perfect PR machine for the brand. The 02 is an impressive venue and the atmosphere was friendly and positive. These fans, many in checked shirts and hats, clearly love their music and in some respects this is a perfect opportunity to see some of the biggest names in Country playing in one of the UK’s largest venues. For those that attend C2C, country music takes many forms. The large majority of the acts are not country in the traditional form. What is on display is the genre in its more modern form – a sound that is both commercialised and tinged with pop Americana. The stories of the songs haven’t changed, however. The themes of the songs are still of the road, lost love, whiskey and women. Continue reading “C2C Country To Country, 02, London, 10th March 2019”

John Smith, Cecil Sharp House, London, 20th September 2018

The scene was set for something slightly special as I descended the stairs towards the wood panelled bar at Cecil Sharp house this evening. The weather had turned – the wind was starting to kick up – and there was an air of expectation amongst the small crowd. I was standing, propped up against the bar, next to quite a famous comedian called Rufus Hound (of course, I played it cool and made one or two wise cracks) but we were all here to see John Smith, standing alone, in the corner of the bar with his acoustic guitar and no amplification. Appropriate in this most intimate of places, the home of UK folk music. Continue reading “John Smith, Cecil Sharp House, London, 20th September 2018”