Country to Country (C2C) 2017. The Growth of U.K Country Music. Day 2. 

Waking up on Saturday morning, still buzzing from the day before, meant I wasted no time getting to the O2 for round two of the C2C festival. An earlier start meant more time to enjoy my surroundings as I made my way from stage to stage and stall to stall. 

The first band I saw on Saturday were country rock outfit, Backwoods Creek. Kicking off their set at 10.50am, it felt more like 10.50pm under the dimmed lights of Club WM. Spectators already with beers in their hands as Saturday at C2C started with a bang. Backwoods Creek’s performance was filled with energy, fantastic guitar tones, rich vocals, and it was hard to believe these guys were from the U.K and not straight out of Nashville. I had the pleasure of interviewing them after they’d finished and I managed to catch up with the founding members, Jamie Wood and Yannick Van Riet. I asked them if they thought country music was growing in the U.K and Yannick’s response was, “It started really small and in the last year or so it’s grown massively. We like that!” Jamie then added with, “I think this festival shows it enough. I was here the first year and it hadn’t sold out at all. Now, the fact that it’s sold out and people are queuing out the doors to see bands is amazing”. This was something I noticed a lot during my time at C2C. On one occasion you couldn’t even get into Club WM because it was simply too full. It was great to see that people weren’t just here to see the main artists in the evening, they wanted to support the U.K bands too. Backwoods Creek are now heading into the studio to record their next E.P, and playing at Buckle and Boots festival up in Manchester in the summer. Links to their social media are at the end of the blog. 

So, after throughly enjoying Backwoods Creek’s set, I continued to explore the festival. I got to chat to another fan and asked him what he loves about country music. “I absolutely love country!” He enthused. “I like more modern country music as apposed to the more traditional country music. I love artists like, Lady Antebellum, Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker and Chris Young”. I then asked him if there was a particular artist he really wanted to see and he told me, “Unfortunately, I’m going to the miss The Zac Brown Band which is such a shame but, I’m most looking forward to seeing Darius Rucker and Chris Young”. To me, his answer highlighted that there is a genuine love for country music here in the U.K and no matter which flavour of the genre you preffered, there was something at C2C for everyone. 

I then saw one of the most exciting performances at the festival. Katy Hurt’s stage presence and catchy songs wowed the audience, and definitely left people talking about her. My favourite moment of her set was when she got the crowd to sing back one of her catchy melodies, and boy did they respond. Everyone watching was singing back at her, which was a fantastic moment. I just had to chat to Katy after her performance, and I managed to grab a couple of minutes with her. I asked her opinion on whether country music is growing in the U.K and she responded with, “I think it’s growing exponentially. I love seeing the reaction people are having to it. It makes my heart flutter”. I also wanted to know her views on collaborating with other artists an whether it is important. “Oh I think it’s hugely important” she informed. “Co-writing wasn’t a part of what I did until about a year ago, and it’s completely changed my life. When you hear other people’s perspective on something, it’s like nothing you’ve ever imagined before. It’s really cool to be able to share stories that way too”. Katy has just released a new single entitled “Dust” and an E.P called “Pieces of Me”. Katy and her band will be at U.K festivals this summer, so watch out because she’s going places. Links to Katy’s social media are at the end of the blog.

I hope you have enjoyed my second instalment about Country to Country 2017. Stay tuned as tomorrow’s blog will cover the last day and include a special interview and and a new project I have coming up. Keep your eyes peeled! 

Backwoods Creek’s social media:

Katy Hurt’s social media: