February 16, 2018
“Country music is about the stories you tell”
The early doors (6:30!) was a known quantity. Navigating Citymapper over three dimensional space, not so much. After finally finding the entrance to the hotel bar through a car park a level below EdExcel, the music was well underway. Oh, the horror! Such a shame to miss part of Jake Morrell’s set, especially if the dying notes of Long Way Home were anything to go by. Wire and Thorns was long gone.
There was still time for Englishman which name-checked all the classic American locations (plus Albuquerque) while pointing out there’s no need to visit any of them to write a good country song. All three of the acts on the bill were proof of that. I doubt any of them could place Albuquerque on a map, let alone needing to go there to do their thing!
“Elliot Joseph and myself wrote this song for all the grandparents out there because sometimes they don’t get a mention”
Next up was Emily Faye. When you think you know what to expect but it turns out you know absolutely nothing. Being all prepared for a beautiful chilled acoustic set, it was a feisty, fearless full band affair.
The grandparent song, Masterpiece, and Giving In were closer to the tender approach of Faye’s solo sets. Pretty much everything else, especially Rolling Stones T-Shirt, Grow and Open Road, were rich, full, and fecking awesome!
“We’re gonna slow this country special down a little bit and bang in some blues”
Hey! How about you do the singing and I’ll do the reviews, Katy? 😉 To be fair, she was right about Fire. It’s Katy Hurt’s ability to switch between bluesy notes, a rich country twang and pure vocals that makes her one to watch.
The full band experience is always going to make an impact, but the quality of Hurt’s voice came out unforgettably in Unfinished Business, a quiet song filled with descriptive detail.
The set ended with Ride Home which unified the tender and tenacious aspects of the band’s live offering.
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