That Festival Thing

I probably made up my mind about music festivals a little too long ago. I’d been an inmate..sorry audience member…at a few throughout the seventies and eighties. I’d then gone to the other side of the fence as a performer. In truth, I’m not entirely sure which I liked least. On the performer’s side of the barrier there is the comforting knowledge that should nature call you are not completely taking your life into your hands, risking a tumble into the pit (Slumdog Millionaire style) though this seems of particularly little comfort when you are whiling away the hours before you go on in the confines of a leaky portacabin. Toilets aside, I realised a couple of years back (as both performer and audient) at Glastonbury that I am rather tired of eating churros while running to the next stage and opted, finally, for a quiet tent away from it all where I could have a long, full, English breakfast. There are some things which come before music.

Given all of that you might imagine I’d be less than sanguine about the prospect of a three day festival of country music in (what will still effectively be) winter in Glasgow…though early spring in Dublin and London. More wrong you could not be.

I’m now anticipating my third full Country To Country with the kind of relish my dog, Alf exhibits when he sees me pulling on the wellies and stuffing his lead in the pocket. If I had a tail, dear listener, you’d be feeling the gentle waft of its wagging.

C2C, as it likes to call itself, eliminates all the things I could reasonably object to in any music festival. So let me make it clear: there shall be no bad weather – we’re under cover, toilets are assembled by architects, builders and expert plumbers, catering is available in the gourmet district of Finnieston and sound will not be blowing around over a field but in the rather fine space of the Hydro in Glasgow. On top of all that it is run by some very fine promoters who ensure the acts you want to see appear before your eyes at the correct time and do not outstay their welcome. All in all…a pretty great state of affairs.

It all kicks off a week on Friday and on that day and the Saturday of C2C we will be welcoming some of the leading artists to come over to the BBC on Pacific Quay where I can ask them some questions, but better still, you can too.

This Tuesday night join me live on Another Country to hear how you can be in the audience for these unique up-close and personal live events.

Later in the programme I’m delighted to welcome the great talent that is Caroline Spence in session and fascinating conversation. She’ll perform some brilliant songs from her current album Spades and Roses, a killer Gram Parsons cover and tell us all about her musical life, her love of Bruce Springsteen and how John Moreland saved the day on a night when the audience didn’t really show up.

We do all that in two hours. Join me if you can. BBC Radio Scotland FM from five past nine this Tuesday evening.


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