C2C Country To Country 2016: Friday preview
It’s still an impressive thing that the O2 in London, as well as venues in Glasgow and Dublin, pretty much sell out for one of the UK’s biggest genre festivals, C2C Country To Country Returning as an extended three day festival this year we’re here to guide you through each day with a look at the five acts you really shouldn’t miss. Check out the official C2C app for all times and stages.
Now you might think you’ve heard of Shane McAnally, but maybe you can’t think of the reason why. Well that’s because he’s best known as the man behind the songs, or more accurately the pen behind the songs. He co-wrote many of the tracks on Kacey Musgraves two records and Brandy Clark’s excellent debut, as well as a tonne of hits for the great and the good of modern country music: Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Lee Ann Womack, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brett Eldredge, the list goes on.
Oh, and producing duty on records from Hunt, Musgraves and Old Dominion. C2C is your chance to see him perform as himself, but you can bet some of those tunes will get a run out.
London only gets a Satellite - sorry, Yamaha - Stage version of Ashley Monroe’s set but it’ll still be one of the highlights of the weekend. After her mildly successful, and overlooked, 2013 record Like A Rose the 29 year old released the excellent follow-up, The Blade, in 2015 to sterling reviews. Whether it's the beautiful sentiment of songs like ‘The Blade’, the woman wronged burn of ‘I'm Good At Leavin’’, or the peppy positivity of ‘On To Something Good’, the Tennessean will entrance C2C.
Opening the Two n Square stage is rocking indie-roots hybrid, and TMF fave, Sonia Leigh. Following her performances at C2C in 2015 Leigh has toured the length of the UK and released singles to radio. Watching her live the most impressive thing is her commitment to the performance. Oh, and keep an ear out for the earworm that is ‘Booty Call’.
Jess and the Bandits
Another Campfire Tales favourite, Jess and the Bandits, open the Brooklyn Bowl stage for the weekend. The enormous voice of frontwoman Jessica Clemmons along with country rock tunes of the quality of ‘Ready Set’ and ‘My Name Is Trouble’, and ballads like ‘Love Like That’, mean the band are in this for the long haul, and likely one of the most fun sets of the weekend.
Finally the queen of country makes it to the UK. In total yin to the bro-country yang of 2015’s C2C the 32 year old is a neat summary of everything that's right with 2016’s C2C. She's a hitmaker, part of a super group (Pistol Annies with Monroe and Angaleena Presley), a great singer, and a risk taker. Her most recent record, 2014’s Platinum, was chock full of the clever, the touching, and the ferocious. The UK is in for a treat.