Bear with me while I recover from the weekend and cope with the fact C2C is over for another year. Before I post my reviews, here’s a list my Top 10 best things at C2C 2018, not necessarily in order.
1. Walker Hayes in the NY-LON Lounge Bar.
For those lucky enough to see anyone in the NY-LON Lounge Bar, you’ll know what an amazing, intimate venue it is. As a huge fan of Walker Hayes it was such a privilege to see him in such a setting and I only wish more gigs could be like that!
2. Lindsay Ell on the BBC Radio 2 stage.
The biggest disappointment for the initial C2C line up for me, was that Lindsay Ell only had a slot on the Spotlight Stage, when I feel that she is worthy of so much more. So, to see her on the BBC Radio 2 Stage was perhaps even better. Ell has such a magical stage presence, fierce and super talented and it is amazing to watch a woman in country smashing it like she did all weekend.
3. Luke Combs on the main stage
Probably the artist I was most excited to see at C2C, and from the second he stepped out on stage, he did not disappoint. Despite being the main stage opener, he was one of the best artists on the main stage all weekend.
4. Jillian Jacqueline on the BBC Radio 2 stage.
‘Reasons’ and ‘God Bless This Mess’ have a permanent residence in my Recently Played playlist, so there was no way I was missing Jillian Jacqueline on the Radio 2 Stage. Her only full band show all weekend, her half an hour set was perfect.
5. Midland on the main stage
Midland are my favourite kind of country. Honky-tonk, perfect harmonies and songs about real life.
6. Ashley McBryde on the Spotlight Stage
I am not the only one converted by Ashley McBryde at the weekend and it’s to my shame really that I hadn’t given her enough of a listen before hand. McBryde blew everyone away in those 2 songs from the Spotlight Stage and it’s forever going to be one of those ‘I was there when..’ moments. A true talent and I haven’t stopped listening since.
7. Little Big Town on the main stage
Though I admire their dedication to UK fans, honestly, before the weekend I could take or leave Little Big Town, controversial I know. However, their closing set on the Sunday was so unbelievably amazing and I am now, forever, a fan. Everything was perfect: their pitch, timings, the harmonies, I found myself sad that their set had ended and eagerly awaiting their next UK tour.
8. Margo Price on the main stage
Margo Price’s album is so so good, but it is even better performed live. From her mid-set drum solo to her ballad duet with Lukas Nelson, Price is surprising and brilliant and I wish I could pull off that iconic outfit.
9. Lukas Nelson on the Spotlight Stage (and with Margo Price)
Within a minute of Lukas Nelson playing on the Spotlight Stage, me and the woman in the seat in front, both added his album to our Apple Music playlists. With a sound not dissimilar to his incredible dad, Nelson impressed both acoustically and when duetting with Margo Price.
10. Kacey Musgraves on the main stage
I have been the biggest Kacey Musgraves fan from the moment I first heard Silver Lining, 5 years ago, though it feels like she’s been around and important to country music, for a lot longer. When Musgraves was announced as a headliner, while I was proud and excited, many were quick to share their doubt and disappointment. I think she proved them all wrong Saturday night and I wonder how many of those non-believers will be refreshing their page at 9am Friday to buy tour tickets.
To reduce the most incredible weekend of the year for UK country music to 10 things is to overlook so many amazing performances, but nevertheless those were the standouts for me, many full reviews coming very soon!