One Night in Nashville has a residency at 'Night People' in the centre of Manchester. We arrived just after 12pm as we had arranged to film some acoustic sessions for our YouTube channel and get an interview. Sound check was in full swing and we were met by a very bubbly Maria Jordan who organises these 2 monthly events.
Maria showed us round the venue. It is basically a cellar. Maria wanted to create a real Nashville vibe having visited all the Honky Tonks on Broadway. And I must say that having also visited those same Honky Tonks in Nashville, I do think she has achieved that. It has a stage area at one end, a long bar down one side and a slightly smaller room off to the side where there was a seating area with tables and chairs. This is where the merch stall was placed.
Stevie O'Connor had also arrived early for his sound check so he organised coffee for us with the bar staff which was great. Thank you for that. We were looked after by everyone very well.
During a sound check break I managed to squeeze in an interview with a very busy Maria. This interview will be put on a Forever British Country podcast next month.
As the sound check had been long and loud (I am not complaining one little bit. We had our own private show which was just fantastic) we gained permission from Maria to film the songwriters round in its entirety. We set the camera up in a very good position on the platform that ran all down the side of the room giving us a good high vantage point. The audio from the songwriters round will also be put on next month's podcast.
The doors opened at 3pm. People started to fill the room. This was a very well attended event. Maria told me they had sold 150 tickets which is absolutely fantastic.
As people arrived there was a playlist of all your favourite country songs playing. Some people were already dancing and no-one had strummed a guitar yet. Just after 4pm the artists for the songwriting round took to the stage. They were Maria Jordan, Stevie O'Connor, Oskar & Julia from Utah USA and Liv Austen and her guitarist. There were no stools as they needed to rotate a bit as the stage having been set up for the band with a full drum kit and everything else that is needed, so space was limited.
Stevie kicked off the afternoon of entertainment but there was a problem with the sound on his guitar so Maria went first. I have to say that I am living Maria's songs at the moment so they actually hit home with me. I loved them. Stevie was next. This guy is fairly new to the scene but he has turned peoples heads and there is a buzz about him. He sings with such emotion. Next up were Oskar & Julia. A husband and wife duo from across the pond. They were quite quirky in song style and Julia was quite gothic in appearance. All in black. Even her guitar. Finally Norwegian born Liv. We have been following Liv since we met her in 2015. She sings beautiful songs beautifully . She is based in London and her debut album is due out on 19th October.
Each artist sang 3 songs in rotation and told us the stories behind them. This is how it is done in Nashvilles' BlueBird Cafe.
A half hour break followed and the playlist returned so everyone sang along to their favourite country songs.
Having heard Maria Jordan and her band doing their sound check, I knew everyone was in for a treat. I knew a lot of people attending for the first time yesterday. I think its safe to say they were impressed by what they heard. Maria's band covered songs from The Eagles, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Chris Le Doux, Dixie Chicks, Shania, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash & June Carter, Dolly Parton plus loads more. They were fantastic. They mix old and new. Country pop and traditional country. It worked so well. Maria sang the songs that suited her voice and she had fun out there. You could tell.
Jim Beam sponsor this event and send a couple of bottles of whiskey to the venue. The whiskey was then given to the gig attendees free of charge halfway through the bands set. I think this is a lovely gesture. Hot dogs were also available to purchase.
After the band finish playing the playlist is put back on for the ticket holders. I think it goes on for about an hour.
We had to leave when the band finished as we then had a 2 hour drive home but it worked really well holding this event on a Sunday afternoon. It proved really popular.
It was worth every single penny of the £15 ticket price and I would definitely go again and I will definitely be recommending it to all our friends.
There is an NCP car park just behind the venue but it is quite expensive. As we were over 5 hours we paid £24.