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C2C: Country to Country 2019 – Fairground Saints, BBC Radio 2 Stage live review

The trio were the opening act on the BBC Radio 2 Stage at C2C 2019.

Fairground Saints at C2C 2019
Credit: Graham Joy Photography

Eli, Mason and Meg – AKA Fairground Saints – are a trio originally from California, who met via various social networks and Craigslist posting. They made their UK debut back in Country Music Week, opening for Eric Paslay and performing at the Country Music Week Hub, and have just released their latest EP Magic. Now they’re back in the UK for C2C, and yesterday they had the daunting task of opening the BBC Radio 2 Stage at indigo.

The band arrived on stage shortly after 2PM and launched into their song Somewhere Down The Line. It’s a lively song with a railroad rhythm and plenty of twang. Right from the off their harmonies were absolutely on point and blended together beautifully. I also thought Mason’s voice was particularly standout early on, with a touch of gravel and plenty of power, and his harmonies with Meg had a gorgeous shimmering quality.

Throughout their performance the band delivered songs with plenty of classic country touches and bright melodies that showcased how well their voices work together. How It Rolls had a laid-back, summery feel with a catchy chorus, whilst the uptempo Something From Nothing saw their vocals absolutely soaring. They could also regularly be seen breaking off to jam together – particularly Mason and Eli – and it was really lovely to watch.

One thing I loved about the set was how each band member got their own chance to shine. For Eli, that was his outstanding musicianship and fantastic guitar playing throughout the show. For Meg, it was her lead vocal on the bittersweet California, a classic rock-tinged song with imagery so vivid I felt like I was driving down a coastal road near Los Angeles as she sang. And for Mason, it was the lilting, dreamy Never Gonna Let You Go, which was full of passionate, pleading vocals and got a great reaction from the crowd.

The final song of the set was Mary, which the band have recently recorded. The arresting a capella intro really grabbed your attention and showed just how good the three of them are vocally, before bursting into life with an upbeat melody. I loved all the details they packed into the song to create the image of Mary and it was great to see them rocking out on stage as well.

Overall Fairground Saints showed why they’re ones to watch with their winning set. They had a great energy about them that kept the audience engaged and are all excellent musicians – particularly Eli – but what really sets them apart is their fantastic harmonies. Their voices all work so well together and they could definitely give the likes of Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum a run for their money. If you get the chance to check them out at C2C make sure you do, because they’re going to be one of the biggest acts of the festival.

Set list: 1. Somewhere Down The Line 2. How It Rolls 3. California 4. Never Gonna Let You Go 5. Something From Nothing 6. Mary Performance date: 8th March 2019

See Fairground Saints at C2C: Country to Country at The O2 in London this weekend:

Saturday 9th March – Spotlight Stage, 6 PM
Sunday 10th March – Town Square, 12.30 PM
Sunday 10th March – C2C Sessions, 2:30 PM

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