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Striking Matches

The critically acclaimed Nashville duo, Striking Matches played to thousands of fans over the weekend at this year’s Country To Country. They are no strangers to the festival, after playing the pop up stages last year and gaining a whole new fan base in the process.

I caught up with them after their final performance of the weekend in the Brooklyn Bowl at the O2. Here’s what they had to say.

What has the weekend been like for you here at Country To Country?

Sarah: It’s been amazing. Three weeks ago we didn’t even know we were going to be here, and so to be here this whole weekend, to get to be back after playing last year has just been incredible. And a dream come true! [Laughs]

Justin: This is probably the most fun we’ve had at a festival. It was an amazing feeling last year, and just the way it’s grown as a festival, and as our fan base has grown too it’s even more special this year.

Which song do you think has had the best reaction from the crowd?

Sarah: That’s a good question, ‘When The Right One Comes Along’ is the one that everybody’s been singing to, which just about makes me cry every time. I think people are starting to make fun of me because of that, but I don’t really care, it’s so special you know as a songwriter when people are singing your song back to you. There’s no greater honour.  They always get really excited about ‘Make A Liar Out Of Me’ too

Justin: Yeah, there’s different moments in a show, theres the quiet, balladry moments and then there’s times where we really get to rock out guitar wise and that always gets people going.

How do you think Country To Country compares to festivals back in the States?

Justin: It’s not nearly as hot! Which is quite pleasant actually. Honestly the energy here is just a little different. For us anyway it’s just been incredibly positive.

It’s funny to hear the accent which is a beautiful thing, and see people wearing cowboy hats and plaid shirts. They look like they’ll come up and say ‘hey y’all’ or something! I’ll never get tired of it.

Do you think weve captured the spirit of Nashville with the pop up stages and Town Square?

Justin: It reminds me a whole lot of CMA fest back home. Obviously the CMA has been pretty integral in arranging and helping produce this festival here so it makes sense that it would remind us of CMA fest.

I think it’s been absolutely captured it’s just not nearly as hot [Laughs] it’s well over 100 degrees (fahrenheit) some days on stage, I’m not sure what that is over here.

Finally, which one of you can do the best British accent?

Sarah: [Points and looks at Justin] Justin has a really great ear for accents and everything so I know it’s you for sure.

A huge thank you goes to Sarah and Justin for taking the time out to talk to me and secondly to John Grady at I.R.S Nashville, whom without this interview wouldn’t have happened.

You can catch the Striking Matches back here in the UK in May on the following dates.

Friday 8th May @ Union Chapel – London

Sun 10 May @ The Deaf Institute – Manchester

Mon 11 May @ Oran Mor – Glasgow


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.
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