We are about a month away from the start of the C2C festival in London, Dublin and Glasgow. Going to any of the venues is great but London is particularly exciting because of the amount of pop-up and side stages available around the O2 arena that are jam-packed with Country music talent from both sides of the Atlantic.
Planning your three days in London can be quite daunting. So, to avoid you becoming intimated we thought we would do all the heavy lifting for you and recommend 10 artists that you should make it your priority to see outside of the main arena shows.
Nate recently had a number one hit on Country radio with the terrific ‘Whiskey On You’. We’ve had an advance of his debut album since before Christmas and have been loving it. The release date has been pushed from February 17th back into April, unfortunately but C2C will be a great chance to see a bonafide ‘next big thing’ in small, intimate spaces. We’ve interviewed Nate twice in the last two years.
First Time Flyers
Bursting onto the scene in 2023 is UK ‘supergroup’ First Time Flyers. Compromised of four individual solo artists uniting to form a band dripping in class and harmonies, we spoke to First Time Flyers all about the new venture right here if you want to learn more.
The early buzz on the Facebook groups has been all about this guy. Think Texan cowboy meets early Garth Brooks for a touchstone. We’re excited to see Randall over in the UK for the first time. Currently promoting sophomore album, ‘Shot Glass’, we’d advise you take take every opportunity you can to get in front of him in London across the three days of the festival. That includes grabbing a ticket to The Bluebird Cafe on the Sunday morning where he is playing an intimate songwriters round.
We’ve been big fans of Elvie’s since he released his awesome ‘Backslider’ album in 2021. Country, Rock, Blues and Gospel combine to produce a sound for an artist recently re-invigorated by running and ice baths if you check out his social media. You’re going to leave his performances at C2C with a great big smile on your face, which you will already know if you caught any of Elvie’s shows here with Matt Stell last Autumn.
Ashley Cooke has been making music as an independent artist for a while now but signing to Big Loud music last year has really given her the clout to reach a much bigger audience. Slick, smooth, heartfelt Country music is her thing so if you like artists like Carly Pearce and Kelsea Ballerini Ashley will be right up your street. Our last interview with Ashley here.
Derby’s finest had a terrific 2022 with so many achievements. We recently spoke to Kezia about her terrific year and her plans for 2023. She’s just released an absolute banger in ‘Whiskey Over Ice’ and looks set to release her debut album this year too. Great live singer and a throughly nice person too, don’t miss out on her strong live performances.
We’ve been tracking Tigirlily Gold since we spoke to them back in 2021 – sister duo Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh make great music together. New single ‘Shoot Tequila’ gives us early The Chicks vibes in a big way. It’s great that they are making their debut at C2C this year and we can’t wait to see them light up stages with their fun live shows.
A new name and artist seriously on the rise. Corey had a big song with ‘Wild As Her’ last year which you will undoubtedly be hearing all over the O2 arena in March. We loved the acoustic version he did with Carter Faith too. New song, ‘Man of the House’ is a complete tear-jerker and we’re predicting big things ahead for an artist just beginning to get the wider recognition that he deserves. A record deal with Sony will only help augment that.
Coming off the reality TV show America’s Got Talent with the moniker of ‘The Elvis of Country music’, there is a lot of expectation around Drake Milligan right now. He released debut album, ‘Dallas / Forth Worth’ in September last year and there is a lot of excitement about his impending London appearances. We hear a lot of early Trace Adkins in his music, which can only be a good thing, right?
This hard rocking band announced their arrival in fine style last year with the release of their ‘Fortune Favours the Bold’ album. We spoke to them all about it here. 49 Winchester are real people playing real music and that comes across in their live performances too. Get in front of these guys any chance you can, you won’t regret it.
If you haven’t got your tickets yet for the C2C festival weekend you can grab the one of the last remaining few right here.