Remember last year at this time? We’ve all been doing it over the last couple of days. Discussions involving the words ‘If I knew then’ which most people end with, ‘well I’m just glad I didn’t.’
I guess if you’re reading this you’ve, somehow, survived the last year. I’m pretty certain however, your life will have changed. None of us is coming out of this last year unaffected by the virus or the factors that came along in its wide wake and we still have a way to go before we get back to doing the bits of life we’ve missed most. It goes without saying that gathering together is the thing which unites all our desires to bring back what has been lost: family dinners, a drink with some pals, a party or a concert.
I took one of these long lockdown walks the other week where my journey took me across the Clyde at the pedestrian bridge I normally walk over to the Hydro (C2C venue) from the BBC and all the memories came flooding back. I thought about guests dropping in to see us in the foyer and waiting anxiously for them to be delivered over the river after or before a tight soundcheck schedule for a performance later that night. Names and faces came back suddenly: Kelsea Ballerini, Eric Church, Midland, Lukas Nelson, Brett Eldredge, Little Big Town and Margo Price all hanging with us telling stories and singing songs. The stories were great and the songs were even better; little miniature performances hinting at what would be coming later in the big arena across the road.
Then there was you – our audience. It was a thrill for our team to see you all, to hear the questions you wanted to ask some of your favourite artists and see the joy we all experienced at seeing and hearing some seriously big country stars up so close and personal. None of us really wants to go back to March 2020, but we do want to imagine what March 2022 might feel like. I’m an optimist with these things and I honestly believe that, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we’ll all be gathered in that Hydro next March listening to some great music from C2C with a select group of artists coming over to the foyer for some intimate conversation. We’ll all be a couple of years older and our lives will have changed, but we will get there and we will celebrate it all when it happens.
In the meantime we want to bring you a reminder of these special occasions in the foyer at BBC Radio Scotland. We will play you some exclusive performances of some songs you love by the artists who were good enough to share them. It’s not Country to Country ’20 or ’21, but for now, it’s the closest we’re going to get until we all get together again next year. Join me if you can this Tuesday evening on BBC Radio Scotland or from five past eight or any time after on BBC Sounds.