By Claire Weston
It’s not a secret that i’ve struggled to get on board with a lot of UK country acts, as nothing has really grasped my attention long enough for me to consider myself a fan. So when Dexeter were announced as a last minute addition to the Saloon bar afterparty, it seemed like a great opportunity to finally give them a proper listen. After all, if they were the ones chosen out of all the pop-up artists appearing at C2C Festival that weekend, they had to be worth watching, right?
I got to the venue expecting a fairly chilled out night (I’d given up my Old Dominion after party ticket since i’ll see them in Florida next month) but it was already packed with fans who had managed to see their set earlier in the day and were raving about them. Gareth Thomas and Deeanne Dexeter started their set off with new songs ‘Try’ and ‘Weight of the World’. The harmonies were stunning. Combine that with a receptive audience and the atmosphere was electric. After an incredible day at C2C Festival, it was the icing on the cake.
I recognised their next song ‘Meet Me There’ from their 4000 Miles To Nashville debut album, but had forgotten how catchy it is.
Next up was a cover of Sugarland’s ‘Take Me As I Am’, which was really impressive. Being a huge Sugarland fan, it’s difficult to come across any artist that can match Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles for me, but Dexeter nailed it.
After a couple of acoustic numbers, the final 2 songs of the night were also new ones – ‘Waiting For A Lifetime’ and ‘Not Giving Up’, which can be found on their new EP. Their sets received outstanding reviews the whole weekend, and even Bob Harris mentioned them while on the main arena stage at the O2. One of my favourite things about their songs is that they were more relatable than i’ve found a lot of other UK country songs to be.
I remember seeing Dexeter open for Angaleena Presley last summer at The Borderline and liking them, but this time they really blew me away. Think Country’s Annette also manages the Dexeter, and although she has raved about them, I didn’t get it. Until now. It’s quite clear the amount of hard work that has been put into the band during such a short space of time. Thank you Dexeter for showing me a side of UK country that i hadn’t seen before.
They are set to head out on a UK tour shortly. Check here for dates (I’ll be in Florida at said Old Dominion concert) but if they are playing near you, you don’t want to miss it!