Nashville Meets London
14th August 2016 – Day 2
So, Sunday found us making our way back to Canary Wharf for Day 2 of Nashville Meets London. One really good thing about this festival is that the organisers encourage you to bring a picnic. If you are not that organised, there is a Waitrose opposite, so we called in there 1st to pick up supplies. It is also quite handy as because it is just across the road and because there was roughly half an hour between acts, you didn’t have to buy essentials like Prosecco all at once, you could buy a chilled bottle & then run over & buy another chilled bottle once that one was disposed of!
Hannah Rose Platt was first to start on Sunday and didn’t she look stunning in a beautiful red dress. Hannah is originally from Liverpool, but is now living in London.
I am off to a bad start as I didn’t catch the name of the track she started with! Her 2nd track was Daughter. Hannah dedicated her next song to Baylen Leonard who was compering and thanked him for putting her on – Little Screws is from her album Portraits. She then sang Dancer, which she explained was written about a waitress who works in her favourite café.
She then told us that Bob Harris had asked her to do one of his Under the Apple Tree sessions. When you are asked to do these, you are always asked to do an original and a cover. Hannah decided to perform the 1st song she had ever learnt, Hello Central, Give Me Heaven, about a young child trying to phone her dead mother.
She said the next song was inspired by the movie Brooklyn, after watching it she imagined how hard it must have been, arriving in a new country and she imagined the sons of these 1st immigrants & the life they faced, the track is Brooklyn NY. This young lady really does have a beautiful voice!
Hannah then did another cover, You Don’t Know Jack, which was written by Erin Enderlin and Shane McAnally & recorded by Luke Bryan. Rather obviously it is about Jack Daniels and losing your life because of it. Must admit I hadn’t heard this track before & despite the sad theme behind it I thought it was great.
The next track was also from Portraits and stays with the sad theme. 1954 is about a lady with dementia getting up each day and getting ready to go on a date thinking it is 1954! Although the theme is sad the songs are not depressing.
For Hannah’s last song she sang her new song – Channel & Cigarettes. This performance was the 1st time I had seen or heard of Hannah. I liked what I saw & what I heard. She got a very warm reception too. Hope to see more of her.
Next we had Meghan O’Neil. I have seen Meghan twice, once when it was just her with Luke Thomas (from Luke & Mel) on guitar. The 2nd time was with a full band. She had her band with her today & I was quite pleased about that. Again, I don’t really know Megan very well, so I may struggle with some of the track titles.
Now That You’re Mine was Megan’s 1st song. With the band behind her the sound was fabulous, a big sound for a big stage, it sounded good.
After the next track – Don’t You Take That Out On Me, Megan introduced her band The Common Threads. You’ve Got A Way was next, Meghan was very happy that there were a couple up & dancing, the chap was dressed in style wearing gold & black sunglasses and a red shirt with a white fringe down the arms!!
Megan told us that they recorded a new track yesterday – Stories To Tell, which she then sang. The 1st song she ever released was next – I Wish I Could Love You More, then Passing Years, which is going to be their next record. Megan said it is a dance number but we have lost our dancers she lamented!!
After Who We Are Megan said they were going to do a cover. She said we would all know it & we should join in. Marvin Gaye’s Heard It On the Grapevine and lots of people did join in and by now our dancers were back cutting some shapes down at the front!
London City the title of the next track is about the experiences of Megan living in London. I didn’t catch the title of the next track, it could be Deep Blue Sea or Spare a Thought For The Refugees. Quite a thought provoking song, although it was up tempo. Coming Home was the last number. It was a very good performance and again, personally I prefer Megan with her band. She has a beautiful voice and confidence on the stage & the band add to the big sound!
The next act was the oddly named William the Conqueror. I don’t know this band at all & I have struggled a bit to find anything out about them, so again please forgive incorrect track names. There were 3 of them on stage, the lead guy Ruarri Joseph, Harry Harding on drums and Niaomi Homes on bass. Don’t Build Me Up started us off. I have to say, looking at Ruarri, I couldn’t help but think The Great Unwashed, I was therefore really shocked when a friend in our group showed me a photo of him just a few months ago, when he looked really different! One of our crowd said he looked like Chris Robinson from the Black Crows!
After the next track, Oh Brother, Ruarri, who was playing guitar, also put on a harmonica. I have said it before and I will say it again, as someone who cannot play an instrument, it always amazes me when someone can play an instrument and sing as well, however, when they can play 2 instruments at the same time I think it is incredible! Sing Your Songs was next, followed by Keep Driving. As the band is from Cornwall, this song is particularly poignant as everywhere is a long drive.
The next track was about growing up – Missed a Trick. Ruarri then dedicated the next song to his dad, although I am not sure on the title, Some Time Ago? It’s a Cold Day? This was followed by Thorn in My Side. By now I had enlisted the help of 2 of my friends and we were playing Guess the Song Track, so if I am wrong, there was 3 of us trying to guess it! We had our dancers back again by now, Ruarri, like Megan was really pleased to see them, he pointed to them & said “There is a music video right there!”
Darker Days was next, followed by Don’t Waste Your Time and No Hiding. Baby I Did You Wrong was the last song. Baylen however asked us if we wanted more, well, it would be rude to say no ta wouldn’t it, especially with the band still in hearing distance, so they came back on & sang The Long Length of Hope. I have to say, William The Conqueror wasn’t really to my taste, but sitting in the sun tipping back Prosecco I did enjoy it.
That ended the UK segment, time for the Nashville segment. Before Baylen introduced American Young though, he said that this was a festival of love, we all love Country music! I am not sure everyone there did, there was certainly a gaggle of Italians sat in front of us who appeared to be there more to gossip, drink & fool around, which was a bit off putting for us die hards, but it was a festival, what can you do? I did ask them at one point to please try to keep it down while the acts were on. They weren’t very happy, but then the guy behind us spoke to them in Italian & they did quiet down, I turned round to thank him, he said “I pointed out you are taking notes!”
Baylen introduced Peter Conway, who was one of the organisers of this weekend, Peter thanked his team and gave thanks to Jeff Walker who was also at the driving end of the stick for this weekend. Unfortunately Jeff died August last year, but his daughter, Christy Walker-Watkins, still works for the company her father founded, Aristo, and she wanted to carry on with his dream of a festival in London. She then gave a little thank you speech & said her dad would be so happy right now to see how many people had come along and she hoped that we would be able to do it all again next year. That got a pretty loud cheer!
The Nashville section was lead by American Young. I was really interested to see these guys as they seem to be gathering pace, also another friend of mine saw them as a pop up at C2C & he had told me back in April he really liked them. It was just the 2 of them on stage, Jon Stone and Kristy Osmunson.
They started with Be Here. They told us we were a beautiful audience and pointed out the kids cartwheeling down the front. In fairness kids had been cartwheeling all weekend! Entertaining to watch when the bands were changing over!
They said their next song, Point of View was a tribute to “Hilary Trump”! Kristy was playing a fiddle as if it was a guitar, they also looked like they were having fun on stage. For the next track, Party in the Dark, which is from their new album AY, Kristy was playing the fiddle ‘properly’! For the next track, Kristy put her fiddle down & picked up her guitar. She introduced the track saying she had written it but it had been recorded by the lovely couple Joey & Rory. She then said a little bit about Rory, this is the 1st time I have heard an artist give tribute to Rory, despite the fact that she died shortly before C2C. I was expecting lots of tributes at C2C, but she didn’t even get a mention! The song was Cheater Cheater, which a couple of us thought an odd one for Joey & Rory to record! There were now 3 dancers down the front and as with all the other acts Kristy & Jon were really pleased to see them & had a quick chat with them!
Better on You was next. They then said that the music business is fascinating, they have both written songs for other people and Jon said Kristy is his biggest fan, he then took lead vocals and sang a song he has co-written & been recorded by Lee Brice – A Woman Like You. Jon then told the story of how the song had got to number 1 in the Billboard charts. They were both ecstatic & went out & got matching tattoos of the date. Trouble was, they got the date wrong on the tattoos!! The dates they have on their arms, Blake Shelton was number 1!!
They then did a cover – Thunder Rolls, Garth Brooks. I have been lucky enough to see Garth perform this track live, it was OK, but didn’t have the punch that Garth puts into it, it also didn’t have the ‘secret verse’!
Jon said Kristy loves talking, especially about politics and sometimes it does come over in her songwriting. They then said they have just written a new song, they have never performed it live, but they were going to try it today – What Are You Working For. Jon then said “We are going to let out drummer & bass take a break – a joke I have heard Striking Matches crack! They then sang You Are Not Alone and Slow Ride, by now Kristy’s fiddle bow was really shredding!
Jon then told a true story of how Kristy was born in Canada and how her mum got hit be a train – and survived! Of course Kristy wrote a song about it – God Sends A Train. After which Jon said sarcastically “Well, that was a 3 minute up tempo song!” He said we need to dance now, and urged us to all get up. They did another cover – Wake Me Up by Avicii & the crowd did indeed get up & dance.
I then got completely distracted when Rosie & Zoe from the Worry Dolls came over to say hello to me, they had seen me on the screen so came to find me! I hadn’t seen me on the screen! Bit disappointed I didn’t see myself!
At the end of their set Kristy & Jon thanked us and said “See you next year”. A bigger stage at C2C perhaps? I really enjoyed this set, the guys react well to each other and the crowd, they obviously love what they do & it shows. Also, Kristy’s hair is amazing, it is really long apart from a small section on the right which is completely shaven.
The final act of the whole weekend was Logan Brill. Her band came on 1st, 5 young guys, then Logan walked on, looking completely stunning!! She had a little white top on and a black leather mini skirt, immediately made me think of a young Miranda Lambert.
She started with a track I have called Sweet Thing, but I can’t find it, but she sounded as good as she looked! She then sang Joleen. After which she said “How the hell are you doing London?” Pretty darn fine from where I was standing! She then sand World Still Round, The Woman On Your Mind and Far Cry From You.
Logan then said they have a ritual in Nashville and she would like to share it with us. She said they normally do it with shots of whisky, but it could be any drink. She said “Raise your glass & swaller” I followed this with a mighty YEEHAH thinking we were doing a HollerandSwaller Ash Cooper Band style. 2 unfortunates here,
1) I was the only one who YEEHAH’d and
2) I happened to be standing right next to Rob Fielder when I did it & he has a rather rude response to Ash when he does this, it was like Roger Rabbit when the baddie knocks on the wall & Roger Rabbit really, really wants to knock back!! Rob practically had his fist in his mouth to stop his response!!
A cover of Eric Church, Springsteen followed, the crowd happily joined with this, it was also obvious her band were having fun and enjoying themselves. She then sang the 1st song she ever wrote – Scars, followed by Don’t Pick It Up.
Logan then told a story of how being on the road she has slept in some really strange places, but she was staying with some family friends one time when it started to snow, I think she said it was her birthday. She wasn’t used to snow and thought it wonderful. She said that night she sat with her friends, the fire lit and champagne and the song Bees was born & this song is now on her latest album – Shuteye.
Next was another cover, which I originally thought was Logan giving the nod to the fact that she was in the UK, Paulo Nutini’s Rewind, however, this is actually a track on her 1st album – Walking Wires! Tom Petty’s Free Falling followed.
Logan introduced her band. She then said she started performing at age 11 & most of the places she performed was in bars. As she was under age she used to have to sit & wait outside, a bar tender would then come & get her, escort her to the stage, wait for her to finish and then escort her back out again!
Love Me Like a Man (Bonnie Raitt) followed, by a track from the mighty Johnny Cash – Fulsome Prison Blues. By now there was as much action going on at the back of the stage as there was at the front, there was a camera by the drummer & the band were all performing to that camera, it was really funny, Logan seemed oblivious to it!
Logan then left the stage, but as you would expect, we were not having that! She came back on & to my disgust sang Champagne Supanova. I hated Oasis when they were current, I hate them just as much now & it really annoys me when American Country artists feel the need to perform Oasis tracks, even Kip Moore annoyed me when he sang Oasis at C2C last year & I sat down & sulked until he finished it! Logan’s final track was She Got the Medicine by Grace Porter, which then went into Jumping Jack Flash.
Logan Brill, brill by name, Brill by nature. She was great, there were a few too many covers for my liking, especially as she has released 2 albums, but I suspect she was playing to the crowd rather than playing to her fans, in which case she cannot be criticised.
That ended the weekend. As I say, the weather had been really kind to us, it had been a bit chilly now & then, but on the whole, the sun was out, not in force so it wasn’t too hot. It was great that you could nip over to Waitrose for supplies and toilets, you either used the public toilets across the road under Waitrose or there were a couple of bars/restaurants who didn’t mind you using their facilities!
The music was fantastic. We were introduced to 4 great American acts, only one of which I had heard of before & only because a friend saw them at C2C. We also had some great UK acts and it is really good to see UK acts sharing the same stage with American acts.
I personally hope this festival is put on again in the same format. If it is I for 1 will be there. It is also worth mentioning that I was with a crowd of people both days, all of them I have only met through our mutual love of Country music, I didn’t know any of them a year ago. I also met some people I knew of due to Facebook, but hadn’t actually met before & as one of them said, “We are not friends, we are family!”