When Jordan Davis appeared in the BBC foyer for his performance and chat on Saturday afternoon he was dressed in the winter clothes he’d beeen sporting on his recent Canadian tour. Who can blame him? Spring in Glasgow is mid-winter in Tennessee and Jordan wasn’t taking any chances with the temperature.
Jordan was the first of six visitors to the foyer over a weekend of conversation, acoustic performances and full on rock-outs in the BBC and Glasgow’s Hydro. it was, for Scotland, the best attended C2C so far, and judging by the reaction of the audience, a complete success. On this week’s show we’re going to bring you a more reflective edition of the festival that you won’t have experienced in the noisier Hydro. Instead we have acoustic performances and chat from Midland, Jordan Davis, Matt Stell and Morgan Evans with some fascinating conversation from Lainey Wilson and Thomas Rhett thrown into the mix. It was a hectic few days for me between hosting the mainstage over the river each evening and welcoming these great guests to the BBC each afternoon. I am truly indebted too to the AC audience for coming over in the afternoon and making a whole day of their C2C visit. You were all so patient as we went through the many angles and pick-ups that are part of a TV recording.
if you are keen to see this as well as listen in you can watch the first show this Saturday night at 10 p.m. on the BBC Scotland channel and you can also see that via the iPlayer if you don’t live in Scotland.
My head is spinning a little but I thought it would be fun to reflect a little on some of my big takeaways from the weekend. I’m sure this is more of a discussion starter and (I have to be honest) there were times when it was just impossible to see an entire set as I often had to be two places at once. We didn’t have any guest from Friday but I enjoyed getting to know the audience and having time to take in the live sets. Lindsay Ell and Mitchell Tenpenny certainly went down well though I have to confess I found both sets a little more rock than country….though in Lindsay’s case brilliantly executed. She’s an amazing guitarist and great performer. I was really taken by Old Crow Medicine Show’s set however. It really had everything: fiddle, banjo, madolin, washboard, free step-dancing and gospel harmonies. It was a triumph which won the band a whole new audience.
I really enjoyed meeting Zac Brown up in his dressing room and I told him how great Caroline Jones was earlier. Caroline is the newest ZBB member and plays almost everything. She performed a great solo set on the spotlight stage earlier in the evening and we will be playing some of her music over the next few weeks. Unfortunately I found the ZBB sound a little tricky and I know they had experienced technical issues on the night which didn’t really allow me to fully engage. I gather, however, that the audience really loved the show.
Saturday was a better evening all round for me. I just couldn’t stop listening to Jordan Davis and thought he put in one of the best shows of the weekend. I knew Lainey Wilson would be good but was a little thrown by her slightly over-eager opening. She then settled into letting her songs do the work and the show became a sheer delight. She sang and played brilliantly and delivered a beautifully curated performance. Thomas Rhett’s only problem on Saturday was what to leave out. There were so many hits to cram in he could have played beyond the curfew. I thought TR too had one of the best sounds of the weekend.
Matt Stell‘s set was certainly well received though I only caught the last part. Morgan Evans was the pleasant surprise of the weekend for me. he’d picked up a kilt earlier in the day and sported it for the entire set! The reaction he got for his performance was one usually reserved for headliners and I suspect his might be the performance everyone remembers a year from now. Midland brought country harmony and some interesting covers. I loved their Wichita Lineman version – no easy song to get right – and finishing the set with Wicked Game was a lovely surprise. Lady A closed out the weekend and the hits were all present and correct with all three singers in great voice. Hilary Scott’s decision to make the Glasgow audience the background chorus for American Honey was a perfect moment.
It seems C2C is winning new friends each year and I look forward to bringing you our highlights over the next couple of weeks on the TV and the wireless. Join me from five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland or BBC Sounds this Tuesday evening, and on BBC Scotland or iPlayer over the next few Saturday evenings. Join me if you can.