Country Music Showcase, H20 Night Club, Swindon


As the girlfriend of an artist, you get used to turning up to gigs hours early for sound check, sitting in the corner whilst

the world passes you by… Sound engineers run around with cables and amps whilst artist tune up and get plugged,

making sure their instruments make the perfect sound. Sometimes it can be quite an uncomfortable feeling, but you

can always be assured to be greeted by the friendly faces of the organisers at the country music showcase, Swindon.

Molly-Anne


First up was the Americana/folk singer-songwriter from Gloucester Molly-Anne. Molly has an exquisite set up including

an acoustic guitar and a harmonica whilst accompanied by her father on probably the coolest arrangement of a Cajon

that I have ever seen. Molly started with the title track of her first EP ‘Glow’. Molly’s music brings a modern twist to the

Americana genre which comes with the old country and western sounds of the harmonica. It is a specialist feature of

Molly-Anne’s performance that I haven’t seen many artists accomplish. Many of Molly’s songs are inspired by her

travels in California. When she plays live, you really are made aware of the beauty of her vocals that are not always

captured on a recording.

Molly played 'Polperro' followed by 'Bright Eyes' which both showcase her talent as a guitarist as well as a singer-

songwriter. Both are very melodic songs and 'Polperro' hushed everyone to silence. This was followed by a cover of

‘Jolene’. Molly didn’t stray from the roots of the song but made it her own – definitely one of the best versions of this

cover I’ve ever heard.

Molly finished her set with her brand new song ‘Talkin’ Bout Something’ that is very groovy. Her brand new single is available for pre-order on the 5th November!!

‘Amazing Set’ – Danny McMahon

Danny McMahon


Danny began his set with the upbeat ‘Broken Hearted’ which immediately got people on their feet and dancing. The

great thing about this showcase is that many of the attendees go to the local line dancing classes and aren’t afraid to

get involved which only provides a great and fun environment. The brand new no. 1 single ‘When I See You’ really

showcases the round tones in Danny’s voice. Credit must be given to Dan Evans for writing such a heartfelt song that

people can relate to and to Danny for portraying its true meaning in such a beautiful way.

Danny then went on to sing Momentarily, the title track of his second EP. Danny explains that country music to him is

the essence of telling peoples stories and wanted to respect the old man Jimmy who he used to sing to in an old

people’s home when he was younger. With Remembrance Sunday coming up next week it was only right to respect all

those who fought in the war and as Danny sung this song you could have heard a pin drop.

Danny finished his song on three upbeat tracks of his – 'Move', 'Everything', and 'It don’t work that way'. Danny has the

incredibly ability of performing heartfelt songs as well as the upbeat songs that gets everyone on their feet. It is clear to

see why the young man has been nominated for 4 award this year, 2 of which herald to his vocal ability.

‘Bloody Fantastic’ – Bar Staff

‘He just has that voice you can listen to so easily…Sounds just like the record’ - Jessie (Hengistbury)

Nia Nicholls


Nia Nicholls started her set with a cover of Tim Mcgraws ‘Just to see you smile’ which she explains was one of the first

songs she heard when introduced to country music as a young girl. Her innocent vocals remind you of a combination

of Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat and she has such a loveable personality on stage. The next few songs are all

originals and really tap into Nia’s talent as a singer-songwriter… My personal favourite original of the set was ‘We Both

Know’. Nia explains that the song is all about realising who your true friends are and that songwriting allows you to air

your frustrations on paper because people will relate and she couldn’t be more right.

Nia performed a brilliant cover of Viva La Vida by Coldplay and whilst it may not be a country song, this was the first

that she learnt to play on guitar and her vocals naturally gave it a little country spin.

For only 18 years of age, Nia holds each note of any song impeccably. She has an incredibly bright future ahead of her

and I would personally recommend seeing her live if you get the chance.

Hengistbury


As soon as this duo got up on stage I was fascinated by the number of instruments. They started with a banjo and two

vocals with beautiful harmonies. I was particularly impressed by the fiddle/banjo instrumental. I’ve not seen an

arrangement like they had live before and it was great. I absolutely loved that every song used different instruments

from the fiddle, to a Cajon and lap steal, to a banjo. This allowed each song to sound wholesome and different.

'Tired of playing Fiddle' was a song sung with pure conviction by the pair. It was evident that in every song they sung,

they believed every word. They are both wonderful musicians however I think Jessie potentially has one of the best

female vocals in the UK scene to date.

The pair ended on an Acapella version of 'Mercedes Benz' by Janis Joplin which was so cool!! These guys have a

single launch coming up soon and I thoroughly recommend you attend if you can.

The first half of the showcase ended with a cover of Gary Perkins ‘Thank You’ as a tribute to him. Our thoughts and

prayers are with Gary and his family during this tough time.


Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay until the end but I have no doubt that the remaining artists were as good as the

ones I was fortunate enough to see.

The next country music showcase is scheduled for Sunday 2nd December.


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