Home   /   Interviews  /   Striking Matches
Striking Matches

Striking Matches Interview – Cornbury Festival

11th July 2015

Words and Pictures by HelsBels Photography

sm16Helen – Well it’s good to see you guys again, you seem to spend more time here than you do in America!

SM – Seems like that! I think Justin said he calculated it and it seems that we have been here more than we have actually been in Nashville this year. We’ve just been travelling so much, even when we are in the States we are on the road so it’s just a couple of days in Nashville here and there.

sm8 sm7 sm11 sm19

Helen – So you’ve just played Cornbury Festival, I guess this is the biggest crowd you’ve played over here?

SM – Erm yeah, it was tough to gauge, just because C2C also has amazing crowds there, but it was a great crowd today and they were as far back as I could see so that was great!

Helen – So you’re here just the 2 of you this time, the last time we spoke to you was just before you played Union Chapel, how did you enjoy playing there?

SM – It was amazing, it was so cool. It’s such an amazing place. It was really fun and I was happy to have the band there. I think we coulda done just acoustic that night, just because of the way the sound reverberated so amazingly you could almost just sing in there and not need anything. The place is so acoustically sound that it was just a dream place to play. It was fun; we’ll do it again someday! I think it would be really cool to come back and circle back around and play it as specifically just an acoustic show.

sm sm3 sm4 sm12

Helen – You’re coming back in November, are you bringing the band then?

SM – Yeah, London will kinda be like a big party and outside of London we will finally be bringing the band around. Always in our shows, because we know people like the acoustic part of it as well, that will always play a part in the shows, so even when we have the band, we tell people, don’t worry, we will still play the acoustic part, it’ll be a little mini set, and then some people really love the band. Some people came to London and then came to Manchester, they were like oh I thought you guys were gonna have the band! So you try and please everybody, so we’ll have the band for part of that run and definitely in London. London we will try and make it just a big party and have everyone we can get up there and it’ll be fun.

Helen – It’s a nice venue in London too (Shepherds Bush Empire)

SM – That’s what we’ve heard. I can’t wait, it’s a legendary venue. So many of our heroes have played there.

Helen – Do you prefer playing just the 2 of you or having the band there?

SM – Honestly, it’s sort of apples and oranges because it’s fun no matter what but it’s just a different vibe. I think there are certain songs I love playing with the band more, just because we can take it to another level and even playing electric you can do more, but acoustically definitely there’s certain things we can do and it’s sort of a different show.

Helen – Because the crowds here have seen you grow from a smaller venue and now you’re moving to bigger venues, do you change the set list at all, do you change how you perform and do you think you lose some of the connection you have with the crowd that you have in the smaller venues?

SM – I don’t think so. We try and treat every show that we do pretty similar. By November the set list might change a little bit because we will have some new songs by then for sure and we’ll even maybe play longer, who knows. A lot of people have their favourites, so we’ll try and get to all of them but also fit in some new things and shake up the set. But even now having been over here 6 times in the last year, almost year and a half, we recognise people. We recognise the folks that were there the first time we saw them, and we can pick them out, and that I think is always gonna be there, we’ll always remember those faces and those names, so that helps definitely to keep that connection going. We try and play at the same time we were playing in your living room we also try to play like we are in a room with 25,000 people and that way I think it helps. Just the nature of our music, we tend to play things a little differently every time, whether we play a solo differently or we just approach things different, it’s a jam or something, so that kinda makes it cool when people see us, they are going to see something different every night.

Helen – Because country is still growing here, when people like you guys come over, people just don’t go to a show in their town; they will travel and follow you around.

SM – And that’s been put into perspective when we’ve travelled out of London, we’ve really seen how far some of these people have come, which is appreciated. It’s just like wow, you guys are great.

Helen – Well it was great seeing you guys, I’m glad you had fun out there, there were a lot of fans, there were a lot of people singing along!

SM – And I guess to that point, that was a big open field, but we felt definitely connected with everyone there, so we always try and strive for that. That’s the beauty of playing small venues, so hopefully just for fun and for special things, we’ll still go back and do smaller club things and it’ll just be a special thing because we love that feeling, because everybody’s there and your reciprocating energy.

sm17 sm20 sm21 sm24

Helen – That’s great guys, thank you for speaking with us!

SM – Thank you! We’ll see you in November!

You can find more information about the tour Here


Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
Related Article