Every year we use our monthly Hall of Fangirl feature to take a look at the acts playing C2C Festival in London (+ Dublin, Oslo and Stockholm), since it’s become the UK and Europe’s premier country music festival, despite only coming up on its third year. Let’s dig in and take a look at some of the acts on the bill.
Currently traditional country’s torchbearer within the mainstream field, Brandy Clark is coming off the back of two Grammy nominations (Best New Artist and Best Country Album for ’12 Stories’) and a Grammy performance with Dwight Yoakam (‘Hold My Hand’) that resulted in the highest percentage sales gain for any performing artist on the night. As well as playing the CMA Songwriters Series the previous night, she will be opening day one of the festival, no doubt bringing in a whole new wave of fans. Check out her Grammy performance below.
Lee Ann Womack
Also recently nominated for Best Country Album at the Grammys for ‘The Way I’m Livin’’, Lee Ann Womack has been making her comeback this past year with a critically-acclaimed album, her first since 2008’s ‘Call Me Crazy’. Now working with Sugar Hill Records, the trad. Country and roots songstress is back with a bluegrass feel and some killer sad songs. You’re not going to want to miss this one. Check out this acoustic performance of new single ‘Send It On Down’ below.
Florida Georgia Line
Bro-country dynamite, Florida Georgia Line have made plenty of friends and enemies on their reign of record-breaking party anthems and meteoric rise to country superstardom. They’re sure to bring the party and refuse to apologize for it at this year’s event, as they make their debut performance on European shores. While we will likely either be at the bar or with our fingers in our ears during this one, try this live performance of ‘Dirt’ from last year’s CMA Awards, a fan favorite and one of their less polarizing tracks.
Also within the bro-country fold but far more established as an artist, Luke is rounding up his ‘Crash My Party’ era, an album that went Gold in its first week of release and has so far produced an astonishing six #1 singles. With ‘Crash My Party’, ‘That’s My Kind of Night’, ‘Drink A Beer’, ‘Play It Again’, ‘Roller Coaster’ and ‘I See You’ dominating US radio for the past two years and now making an impact over here, it won’t be long before Luke sets about following up his hugely successful fourth studio album, and the task won’t be easy. Check out his live performance of ‘Drink A Beer’ at the 2013 CMA Awards below.
Beginning as one of the first bro-lite artists (‘Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck’) but moving into rockier and more lyrically-substantial terrain when the movement fully took hold (‘Hey Pretty Girl’, ‘Young Love’), Kip Moore has struggled to continue his run of commercially-viable singles that he experienced on his first album ‘Up All Night’. Now launching latest single ‘I’m To Blame’, he has another shot at tempting radio and finally releasing his long-awaited sophomore album, rumored to be titled ‘Smoke’. Check out this live acoustic version below.
Bad-boy southern rocker Brantley Gilbert first visited the UK during the first C2C festival in 2013, and now he’s back with a bill promotion from first to second. Since that first performance he’s gone from rocker to bro-country record seller, as his 2014 album ‘Just As I Am’ sold nearly 300,000 copies in its first week (led by the #1 hit ‘Bottoms Up’. He’s now promoting his latest single ‘One Hell of An Amen’ at US country radio, marking a return to more heartfelt, rather than party-orientated, material. Check it out live below.
Jason Aldean has established himself as one of mainstream country music’s premier superstars, but up until last month none of his music was able for purchase in the UK. However, with the announcement of his first performance on our shores his team got to work on making his entire back catalogue, including the new album ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’ available for consumption ahead of the big show. With the second longest career of any of the acts on the bill, he’s got enough live experience to rock up the O2 Arena, so here’s a live performance of his smash #1 hit ‘Burnin’ It Down’ on Ellen.
Lady Antebellum have long been favorites this side of Atlantic for their mainstream country-pop stylings, and have toured and released music here regularly over the years. It was a no-brainer making them a headliner therefore at the festival, especially since it was their album launch gig last October that succeeded the announcement of the official line-up. Recently reinventing their sound and moving towards even more pop-orientated material as they look to retain commercial appeal, ‘Bartender’ became a #1 hit and ‘Freestyle’ is moving up the US charts. See the trio perform ‘Bartender’ live at the Grand Ole Opry below!