Imelda May live at the Bridgewater Hall!

“They raised her up, They made her fly, They gave her roots and wings, As time moves on and years go by, She’ll miss those simple things, She’s the girl I used to be” – The Girl I Used To Be, Imelda May



Last night I had a lovely night at The Bridgewater Hall checking out Imelda May’s tour. I looked around the bar before doors had opened and there was quite a mixed age range which was good to see. A small child had been surprised by what appeared to be her mum and grandma with tickets and she was over the moon! Later on I saw her dancing with her mum so May obviously lived up to expectation. Imelda’s latest album is something quite different from her previous material, it’s a lot more personal and stripped back and I was excited to see how this would go down live. The stage was littered with big spotlights which dimmed and brightened helping to set the mood up for each song and before the show began I noticed the large set-up of her band.

The support act, Jack Lukeman, also from Ireland opened the show, dressed all in black with a red handkerchief protruding out of his trouser pocket. He began with a song called magic days, the title track off his new album. He went on to play seven more tracks, a few of which he got the audience involved with, Soul King and Little Man saw everyone joining in for a rousing chorus, which was an achievement as the audience seemed quite quiet and reserved even when Imelda came on. He also sang Ol’ Man River acapella which was really good, he had rather a deep voice but with a beautiful clear tone to it so this song suited his voice quite well. He finished his set unplugged with no Mic and an accordion decorated in fairy lights and his voice carried and filled the bridgewater hall. Many members of the audience gave him a standing ovation at the end of his set which is unusual for a support act but he deserved it. He had his work cut out but he got the audience involved and by the end of his half hour set they had really connected with him.


Then it was time for the main attraction, a chair was positioned centre stage and the band began to play as Imelda May walked on and sat down. She opened the show with the first single off her new album the very beautiful Call Me. Instantly her vocals struck me, they were soft and delicate but flawless. She sang every song off this new album and a few fan favourites from her back catalogue. She moved the chair after Call Me though and proceeded with the gospel infused When It’s My Time as she stalked across the stage in those high heels and black dress. After she talked to the crowd for a little while about her previous shows in Manchester, she sang one of my favourites off the new album, Human. This song showcases her vocal ability particularly on those soaring melodies in the Chorus. This was followed by Sixth Sense, the bass player put down his instrument and picked up the double bass instead. The band was very tight throughout and multi-talented – the percussionist doubled up as the trumpet player in certain songs.

Before May sang each song she talked a little bit about how the song came about, like before she sang Bad Habit she talked about getting her heart broke and how a bit of retail therapy inspired this song. Then she seemed to be struggling to find the right words as she spoke about being in Paris with U2 around the time of the Paris attacks in 2015. As she spoke it came to light that two of her record label had been killed at the Bataclan and she remembered the words that a vicar friend of U2 had said the day after to them all about Love and Fear and that is where the song came from with the same title. You could tell it was a hard story for her to share with the audience as she recalled the events and the memories she had of her friends and colleagues. She proceeded with the new album playing How Bad Can A Good Girl Be. Throughout, the audience was quite tame, after each song was a ripple of applause but not many whoops or whistles from the crowd like you would expect. Imelda picked up on this and asked why we were so quiet, was it because we were in a posh theatre?


She sounded a little reminiscent of Patsy Cline on Black Tears. The Country Soul ballad is another one of my favourites off the new record and again it showcases her vocal range and ability. She’s one of those singers who sounds just as good live as on the record and I was in awe of how flawless her voice was throughout the night. She sang Flesh and Blood followed by Levitate. It was around this time that she told the audience to ignore the security and to have a good time and go wild. A few people began to get to their feet for Should’ve Been You, yet another one of my favourite tracks off this new record. Leave Me Lonely was one of the last to be sung from the new material and more people began to get to their feet and clap along for The Longing. She had a more gravelly tone to her voice for this song as her wilder rockabilly side came alive and with that the audience also came alive. When it became time for Wild Woman a number of ladies ran down the aisle and were jumping around near the front. Imelda walked over and high fived them from the stage at the end of the song security tried to usher them back to their seat and Imelda said “ignore them! Come back!”


A fan favourite was next, Mayhem. The whole theatre was on their feet now and singing along. Imelda’s vocals did not falter as she paced the stage feeling quite pleased that the audience had now come to life and were clearly enjoying themselves. She threw in a cover before she did another fan favourite, Johnny Got a Boom Boom off her 2008 album Love Tattoo. The band exited the stage and she finished her set with the very personal storytelling track The Girl I Used To Be. The crowd were on their feet clapping and cheering until she came back out, she thanked the audience and proceeded to play a two song encore with the band back on stage. She ended on Game Changer which was a great rousing, high energy number to conclude what had been a great night with a mixed performance of intimate, emotional numbers and fun, upbeat songs.

Thank You,

Zoe x


Review of VAMOS Festival and Country Music Week Announcement!


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Well there’s so much to talk about on the blog this week! First of all the first announcement has come about country Music Week which is taking place in London in October. News broke during the C2C weekend that the organisers had set up a string of events in the capital promoting both UK and US acts and this week they announced those first acts. Following this, those acts announced more dates across the UK and tickets went on sale. So without further ado below we have listed all you need to know about those recent announcements.

Country music week is taking place from 2nd – 8th October with Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives playing on the 4th at Cadogan Hall and Kip Moore and Drake White confirmed for the 6th at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. Further tour dates for all three acts can be found below.

Marty Stuart

4th Oct – London

6th Oct – Birmingham

7th Oct – Gateshead

9th Oct – Glasgow

10th Oct – Manchester

12th Oct – Dublin

Kip Moore and Drake White

2nd Oct – Birmingham

3rd Oct – Manchester

4th Oct – Glasgow

6th Oct – London

However another great event happened in the past week, yes some of you may have seen on my Facebook page that I spent the weekend in Scotland at Perth Racecourse for Vamos festival which is a brand new festival of American style music which of course included Country music. Now it was a busy weekend for me as I was performing twice as well as interviewing artists for the blog but I had a great time and so did my family. Coming up in the next few weeks I’ll bring you interviews with Branch and Dean, A C Jones, Molly Adele Brown and Blue Genes to name a few but for now I’ll give you an insight into the festival and some of the stand out performances.

Our weekend began on the Friday when we arrived just in time to see Branch and Dean perform a very emotional track of theirs called The Dash. It is a song about the little line in between the year you were born and the year you die and how you choose to live that dash. After Branch’s son died from cystic fibrosis the duo has been raising funds and awareness for the charity so this song was very personal for the duo to sing. However their set demonstrated their versatility, the pair are hilarious, they know how to have a good time as well as how to get a meaningful message across and on both the Friday and the Saturday they really connected with their audience and for me were the stand out act. I love their track Your Ol Lady’s Gone, they closed their set with this song which spent ten weeks at number 1 in the UK. And the pair are as lovely and approachable as they are talented.

Friday night also saw the Scottish Blues Brothers take to the stage as well as Eve Graham and Marmalade. Eve Graham one of my mum’s idols actually brought a lot of humour to her set. In a sparkly dress she made comments about the Scottish weather as it began to rain but the show went on and the 74 year old told stories about the songs and her time in the new seekers before singing them beautifully. Marmalade were a lot of fun and still full of life as they sang songs such as Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da. The Scottish crowd despite the rain really got into the swing of things and were dancing and singing along, unfortunately for me my Dad cracked out his dance moves too!

My Saturday began with an interview with Ohio Singer-Songwriter Amanda Jones who goes under the stage name A C Jones. What a lovely girl! She took to the songwriter stage not long after and despite the low numbers in the audience she remained professional and blew me away, she was one of the stars of the festival for me. Her voice was flawless which isn’t surprising since she’s trained in Opera as well as being able to sing Country and she also had some fantastic songs of her own. After this I interviewed Branch and Dean and Molly Adele Brown, the Americans are lovely and were really pleased to be playing over here. I then joined my family and listened to some of Blue Genes set. On the Saturday they were in the barn playing some country covers and then on the Sunday they were on the Songwriter stage singing their own songs. Both days they didn’t disappoint and got a good reaction from the crowd, their own songs are just beautiful.

After grabbing some food and doing another interview I rejoined my family and we headed to see Branch and Dean in the barn and SaraBeth and Glen Mitchell on the main stage. Because they were on at the same time there was a lot of running backwards and forwards involved but we managed to see a good part of each acts set. We then went inside to the cafe bar and saw Stephanie Aird. Now this girl was great, she was hilarious she had the whole room in uproar and not only is she a great comedian she’s also a great musician. Her song 12 days of me diet was fantastic! She was so good the whole family went back to see her performance on the Sunday as well. After Stephanie performed on the Saturday, little old me took to the stage, she was a hard act to follow but for some reason the audience stuck around and gave me a chance and they were a lovely crowd to entertain!

We stayed at the cafe bar for Tanya Taylor who was performing a tribute to Karen Carpenter. What a great job she did as well and the audience really enjoyed singing along. We then caught the last song of Definitive Buble’s set on the main stage and ate burgers and hot dogs whilst we waited for Let’s Drift to take to the stage, a drifters tribute act. They came on and sang such hits as Under the Boardwalk, Saturday Night At The Movies and You’re More Than A Number In My Little Red Book. They did a great set and once again there was some dad dancing taking place but the main thing was that everyone seemed to be having a good time! Then after a short pause Johnny Lee Memphis took to the stage as Elvis. He had a laugh with a number of members of the audience giving scarves and kisses away but he sang other songs from the era not just Elvis numbers my favourite of his set was Can’t Help Falling In Love and I also enjoyed In The Ghetto. Much of the crowd were still there as we left, not wanting the night to end they’d had such a great time. At least there was one more day to go!

And Sunday came and we saw what we were told was a rarity… the sun! There was a cool breeze but we were warm sat in the sun. We arrived to catch the end of Millwood Duo’s set, they were good, Ashli brought a bit of humour to the set! Then I had to rush off and kick off proceedings on the songwriter stage. Blue Genes followed my set and after they had performed we did a quick interview with them – such a lovely family. Following this we split up again and half the family went to check out Stephanie Aird again and half of us went to Molly Adele Brown. Equipped with gummy bears and Can Koozies for the audience, Molly took to the stage singing a mixture of her own songs and well known covers including a medley of You’ve Got A Friend and Bear Necessities. I really liked her own material and inside my can koozie when I returned home I found a download code so I can continue listening to some of this she played like Spook the Horses which is my favourite! Then I headed across to catch the rest of Stephanie Aird’s set and once again she had us in stitches!

She wasn’t to everyone’s taste as some rude people made known, however I think they just lacked a sense of humour as everyone else enjoyed her performance and I am now very much a fan! Following Stephanie’s set we headed off and caught some of the Jersey Notes performance before I was told of this really great band in the songwriter room which I couldn’t miss. Sure enough Munro, equipped with a pedal steel, were ready to begin. They had some good songs and some touching stories behind their songs and they sounded all the more beautiful with a pedal steel accompanying them. After that we headed across to the main stage where The Pacemakers were about to start. Later PJ Proby joined them and they performed together, he told stories about the songs and about the various people he was friends with such as Elvis and then he would play some of their songs too. The last night was running slightly late and despite the lovely afternoon we’d had it began to rain but this didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Los Pacaminos and Paul Young took to the stage around quarter to 11 dressed the part in shirts and cowboy hats. They were great they really got the crowd going and were really lively. We had to leave not long after but what a great end to a wonderful weekend! Lynda and her team did a fantastic job. If you missed out on the weekend remember to look out for the name VAMOS as I’m sure they will be organising lots more great events and festivals in the future!

Interviews and Pictures to follow!

Thank You

Zoe x

Life. Love. Flesh. Blood – Imelda May’s most personal collection of songs

“When I’m writing, I mean what I’m saying – there’s a lot of me in each song” – Imelda May

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Late last year you may remember an article I wrote about Imelda May’s new image and new sound. The Dubliner, usually known for her rockabilly sound and signature quiff played an intimate show at Ronnie Scott’s showcasing songs from her new album. Her hair hung down framing her face and as she began to sing it was clear that she’d taken control of her career and taken it in a different direction. Now the album is out and after taking the time to listen properly, you can hear the honesty in her lyrics and the vulnerability in her voice. This is the most personal collection of songs Imelda has released. She asserts herself not only as a fantastic singer but as an outstanding songwriter. Though not strictly Country, Life. Love. Flesh. Blood features some beautiful Country Soul Ballads reminiscent of songs like Patsy Cline’s version of Crazy or Eva Cassidy’s Songbird. Whatever your taste in music, it is worth a listen if you can appreciate a well written collection of songs.

The album opens with Call Me, the first single off the album. It features some lovely melodies in the chorus, nothing too complex but it works, it stays in your head. You get lost in May’s smooth vocals and it’s a good introduction as to what’s to come. Black Tears shows off her vocal range and technique, particularly in the chorus when she’s belting those top notes out and we hear that gritty edge to her voice. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, it’s no surprise that the arrangement and production is solid and this is showcased in Should’ve Been You which has a unique arrangement in the Intro. This is one of my favourite songs on the album, it has some great lyrics and it’s a good concept, the melodies in the chorus are lovely as well, the way she slurs and bends those notes as she sings “Who takes care of me?”

This album, written in the wake of May’s divorce, surprisingly does not lack good love songs; Sixth Sense and Human demonstrate this in different ways. Human is one of my favourites, the concept is great and there’s some lovely lyrics in this. It’s truthful in the way it says I want to be the best for you that I can be but I’m only Human, but I want to be your human. The arrangement builds tension going into the chorus and the vocals have room to soar as she sings “So come adore me, but know I’m gonna fall, Off of this pedestal that I hope you’ve put me on.” This is followed by the latin infused How Bad Can A Good Girl Be. Bad Habit has an unusual feel to it in the chorus, I think the melody doesn’t quite flow as you expect it to which creates a unique sound.

Levitate sits in Imelda’s lower register and features a lovely string arrangement. When It’s My Time follows this, it’s in 6/8 time and builds throughout, the vocals once again are sublime and I like the addition of the organ when that comes in. The penultimate track Leave Me Lonely is quite different to anything else on the album again though the melodies and lyrics leave room for May’s vocals to soar through that chorus. The album closes with perhaps the most personal song, The Girl I Used To Be. This has very detailed lyrics and channels Imelda’s Irish roots, it tells the story of her upbringing, again it’s another one of my favourites.

Imelda May is currently on tour in the UK. Visit her website to check out where and when she’s playing near you and grab your copy of Life. Love. Flesh. Blood.


Zoe x

Interview with Catherine McGrath!

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people because being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind”

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I’m really excited to bring you tonight’s blog. This is an interview I did back at C2C with rising star, Catherine McGrath. Recently signed to Warner, Catherine has risen rapidly to the forefront of the British Country scene and is enjoying lots of success on the live circuit, bagging herself some great support slots with The Shires and Kelsea Ballerini to name a few. The young writer is really making a name for herself and building a strong and loyal fanbase so it was great to catch up with her and find out a bit more about her journey so far and her influences. Not only is she a very talented individual but she’s very down to earth and great to chat to. Read on to find out more about Catherine.

Can you tell me a little bit about your journey in music so far?

Well I always sang, for as long as I can remember but when I was about 13 I started putting my covers on youtube because I discovered Country music. Then the president of Warner at the time contacted me and was like “Hi I saw your video, let’s have a chat” and I just thought it was a creep on the internet so I ignored it and then it was real so I came over to London, wrote my first song. Then he called me and said it was really good, we’d love you to move over as soon as you can, so I did and I started writing loads of songs and playing open mics. Then I signed to Warner and that’s what I’ve been doing!

Can you tell me about your influences growing up and what you’re listening to now?

Well when I was younger I think the only music I really heard was traditional Irish music that my mum and dad played. Then I found Taylor Swift when I was 12 and I discovered that whole World of country music, people like Rascal Flatts, Kacey Musgraves and that’s what I’m listening to, at the moment I’m listening to Kelsea Ballerini and Raelynn. It’s kind of a mix of everything.

When you’re writing songs, where do you draw inspiration from lyrically?

Sometimes I’m walking around and get a random lyric idea. Sometimes it comes from a conversation I’m having, it’s always different but usually it comes out as an experience I’ve had or talking about a situation someone else has been in.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written a song about?

Hmm I don’t know. I have a song about a Coldplay concert, it sounds weird but I went into a session and was having a big rant about this situation that I found myself in with a guy and I told the other writer the whole story and she wrote everything down on her laptop and we pieced it together. So yeah it’s probably about a Coldplay concert I went to with a guy but it became one of my favourite songs.

What are your mid-gig thoughts?

I think before I start to sing I’m freaking out but then as soon as I start to sing I’m thinking about the song, or who in the audience is smiling, you know I look at people and see who likes it and as soon as I see someone smiling I relax into the song.

So you still get nervous when performing?

Yeah I get really really nervous, but it’s a good kind of nervous and as soon as I start to sing all the nerves are gone. It’s more like excitement.

Do you have a favourite quote?

Yeah it’s a Taylor Swift quote I can’t remember the exact wording but it’s something like “No matter what happens in life, be good to people because being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” Sometimes I get caught in between saying what I think of someone and keeping my mouth shut and I think, no be nice, I want to be nice to people, so I have to think of that quote haha.

What’s next?

I think we’re just going to do loads and loads of live shows. I’ve got a few support slots coming up, a show with Una Healy in May and obviously I’ll keep writing but I just want to get out there and play live.

As previously stated Catherine has shows lined up with The Shires, Una Healy, and Kelsea Ballerini in the next few months so make sure you get to one of those shows. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from her in the near future!


Zoe x


Introducing VAMOS Festival!

“Time is intended to be spent not saved” – Wainwright

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So today I’m taking a break from the interviews from C2C to tell you about VAMOS, a new music festival focusing on American styled music coming to Perth racecourse on the 12th – 14th May 2017. Now this festival has 6 stages and features Rock n Roll, Bluegrass and of course Country music. Being a Country music blog we’re going to focus on the stars that will take to the stage in our genre but at this festival there really is something for everyone so check out some of the other artists that are playing throughout the weekend.

Two stars which I know a lot of you know and will be excited about are SaraBeth and Glen Mitchell, yes the pair who took last years Buckle and Boots festival by storm are heading over from Nashville once again to entertain their UK fans. We’ll hopefully catch up with the pair who always put on a good show and are bound to draw a large crowd. There are a number of familiar names on the bill this year, Narn who also played at Buckle and Boots and is currently perfecting her craft at university. Kira Mac who’s on the bill for this years Buckle and Boots is also on the line up to entertain Scotland. We also have Ellie Dibben on the bill who is the youngest person to have played at C2C festival, I first saw her perform in 2015 and it’s been a while since I’ve seen her live so it will be great to hear how her sound has progressed. And Blue Genes will also be performing on the Saturday and Sunday at VAMOS. This band really intrigues me and I’d love to catch up with them and have a chat!

There’s a lot of buzz around Angels With Dirty Faces on social media at the moment and they’re performing on the Sunday. I’ve yet to see them live so I’m quite excited to see what all the fuss is about! The Rising, a great band with a lot of talent, are playing on the Saturday and Emma Moore and Roni Perry have been announced as well. Again, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Emma and Roni so I’m looking forward to seeing them live. Festivals are great to get a feel for what someone is like live, the artist’s job is harder than playing their own shows as they’ve got to really work to capture that crowd’s attention and turn them into fans.

As I said there are six stages and stage times have not yet been announced so hopefully your favourites won’t clash with each other! The good thing about this festival is there is a mixture of indoor and outdoor areas, lots of seating around venues and a wide selection of food outlets. The stages also seem to be themed, singer-songwriter, Rock n Roll etc. I shall be there, hopefully doing some interviews, however I’m also performing under my stage name Just Zoe at 7pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday so it would be nice to see some friendly faces in the crowd if any of my loyal readers are in attendance! We’ll update you when we have a full schedule of when and where all your favourite artists are playing. You can buy tickets below:


Zoe x

Interview with Raintown at C2C!

“It’s not about what you’ve got and where you come from it’s about who you are” – Paul, Raintown


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Today we’re back to our coverage of the C2C weekend and the final interview I did was with one of my favourite couples in Country music, yes you guessed it, Raintown! I loved this interview as it was great to see Paul and Claire’s eyes light up as they talked about their wee baby girl Alba Rose. This is a duo we have watched grow from strength to strength in the UK scene and it was wonderful to see them back and better than ever in building six on the third day of C2C with quite a sizeable crowd to watch their comeback. I was surprised but glad to see they still performed with so much energy and belief in the music. Read on to find out what they had to say about Raintown after becoming parents and what the future holds.

I watched your performances over the C2C weekend and you guys haven’t lost any of your energy since having a baby?

Claire: I think we’ve probably got more energy now haha! More energy to keep going at it, it’s been really great to get back performing again, I’ve loved every minute of the weekend, obviously we miss our wee baby girl, it’s the first time we’ve left her so that was a bit challenging. It was great to get back though and relaunch Raintown at C2C in front of the best fans in the World.

Are you raising her on Country music?

Claire: Oh yeah she’s got no choice!

Paul: I was going to say there’s literally no choice and it’s funny because we put on Brad Paisley and at the moment it’s Brad, Keith Urban and Elvis that get’s her to sleep, she calms down and gets into it.

Claire: Yeah she loves it, every time music is played in our home she tunes into it and zones out of everything else.

Paul: Yeah and clearly she’s not but it looks like she’s dancing haha. It’s amazing, we are so so grateful first and foremost to be parents but the fact we get to spend as much time as we do with her because of what we do is a real bonus.

What’s in the pipeline for Raintown at the moment?

Claire: We’ve got a few live dates coming up over the next few months, we’re going to Newcastle, Inverness, Skye, back to our hometown in Glasgow, Manchester, so yeah it’s going to be quite full on. So we’ve had a lot of band rehearsals for this so that was a good way to kick start our live shows. We have new music coming out soon as well, not an album right now, we’re just going to put up some stuff we’ve been writing. Just got to get it out there for the fans and see what their reaction is.

Back to your baby girl, Alba Rose, has she inspired any new songs?

Claire: Yeah she actually has.

Paul: It’s funny Zoe because when people said to us it’ll change how you view things you think of course it will but you don’t realise how much it changes things. There are things we see now through that filter of being Alba Rose’s mum and dad and you think, well I’ve thought about it but I never realised how much it matters. It re-establishes how important it is to spend time with your family but also how important it is to be an example for her and how we want her to live her life and what we want is for when she’s five or ten years old to say “when are we going on tour mum and dad” instead of “oh did you used to be singers?” You’re driven from that.

Claire: You do get that focus. I know it sounds silly as you’re always wanting to achieve and be successful before you had a baby but it’s like we want it more now.

Paul: I would say we’re pretty driven in what we do. The amount of work we’ve done in the past 7 or 8 weeks since we’ve got back, I would say we’ve surpassed what we did last year already. So it’s full on and at the same time we’re trying to adapt to being parents. We’re just really lucky, we’ve got an incredible baby, we’re so lucky.

Claire: She’s a good baby, when everyone meets her they say she’s really smiley, really laid back, nothing fazes her at the moment, she’s not a screaming baby which is good haha.

Paul: So yeah we’ve got songs about wanting to be as good of a mum and dad as we can be and also looking at the World differently now, wanting her to learn from us, it’s not about what you’ve got and where you come from it’s about who you are and that’s hopefully what we’ll teach her along the way. We want to get her out there and show her what performance is about, we are very much in a digital world, we’re very much about technology but nothing beats live performance. In those two half hours we did at C2C they just went by so fast and all you want to do is stretch it out a bit longer, the stage managers have told us to get off haha. We’ve had some great feedback and we’re very appreciative of that.

Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers and your fans?

Claire: Just thank you for the support over the years and we promise there’s new music on the way so keep checking out the Facebook!

Below are the tour dates that are coming up!

Fri. 21st April – Newcastle – The Cluny2
Fri. 5th May – Inverness – Eden Court Theatre
Sat. 6th May – Portree (Skye) – Aros Centre
Fri. 2nd JUNE – Glasgow – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Fri. 9th JUNE – Manchester – Gullivers

Thank You!

Zoe x

Interview with Kevin McGuire!

“It’s really difficult sometimes as an artist but I think if just one percent of you feels you can go on and it’s worth it then you need to keep on going, even if the other ninety nine percent says you can’t do it, if that one percent believes you can achieve then you need to keep going!” – Kevin McGuire

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So I have seen on social media that the majority of us have post C2C blues but for me I get to relive the weekend over and over again in the coming weeks as I get those all important interviews out to you. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of book ending my day chatting to two pop up acts both from Glasgow, Kevin McGuire and Raintown and today I bring you that interview with Kevin. As you can see from the above quote, Kevin has a way with words which is crucial for a songwriter and it was a pleasure talking to him before he took to the big entrance stage, drawing a large crowd. Check out what he had to say below.

Can you tell me about your journey into Country music?

I get this question a lot and it’s a strange one as I never grew up with anyone around me listening to Country music. When I was in my early days at school I would always come home and check out the latest Country music charts in America and I would just download as much of the music as I could and it felt like my own little World as it was the days before social media so I didn’t know anyone else listening to that sort of music. So it was fun, I really  related to it and I got introduced to guys like Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Josh Turner and I fell in love with the music and it’s been with me ever since.

Can you tell me what your influences were growing up, what did your parents play to you?

My parents listened to a wide variety of music, I guess the way I got into music was my Dad was a drummer so there was always instruments lying around the house as he played guitar as well. My sister’s a singer as well so since like the age of two we’d be putting on shows for the family. Just being surrounded by music, though it wasn’t forced upon us, it just happened naturally.

What’s your favourite artist at the moment?

Rascal Flatts, easy!

When you’re writing songs, where do you draw inspiration from lyrically?

I try to be as open and honest as I can be. Sometimes I’ll write about my situation and sometimes I’ll go to other people and if I see something that someone else is going through, I’ll think I could write about that. But I think it’s best to be open and honest so the audience can relate to your music and hopefully that builds a connection so I guess that’s where it really comes from.

Do you still get nervous when you perform now?

I think I get more nervous performing to family and friends than I would with like a larger audience. I think it’s good to have some nerves, well not so much nerves but you’re scared to screw up, you’re anxious to make sure everything’s in place and it goes well. But it’s good, it’s more like butterflies than nerves.

What are your mid-gig thoughts?

Sometimes I let my mind wander, I think the more you concentrate the more likely you are to mess up. I think if you just relax into it, you’ve sang it a thousand times, the band’s played it a thousand times, if you just relax and feed off the audience I tend to think that’s a better route than to be fully concentrating on every single thing you need to do on stage.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written a song about?

Oh, it has to be a relationship between two of my friends, and they had no idea the song was about their relationship!

Haha did they like it?

Yeah they did but it was from one of their points of view and I don’t think the other person knew the other was feeling those feelings so it was a little bit awkward, so I think that was the strangest thing.

What’s next for you?

So I’ve got my EP coming out called Foreign Country, that’s out on April 7th and my new single, Alright Tonight. Then we’ve got some festival bookings organised for the summer which I’ll be announcing in the next few months.

So get that date in your diaries, April 7th, new music from one of the UK’s fastest rising stars in Country music. Make sure you show your support if he’s playing a festival near you.



Zoe x