The UK Country music scene has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Large scale events such as the Country 2 Country Festival (held in London and Glasgow) have helped propel not just big-name US stars but grow the visibility of home-grown talent.
One such talent is London’s own Lucy May. We were lucky to catch Lucy a few years back supporting Striking Matches at Glasgow’s Orán Mòr, so when she announced her own double-headline tour with Jeannine Barry we couldn’t wait to get along and check out the show.
The first night of last month’s tour was in Glasgow’s Broadcast, with a small but enthusiastic crowd turning up to catch the show. Jeannine was up first bringing her take on the modern country sound, complete with a small but excellent band rounding out her sound.
Opening up with ‘Off The Hook’, she played a great set highlighting tracks from her two EPs as well as a well placed cover. ‘Burning Bridges’, ‘Us or Drinking’, and closer ‘Bittersweet’ were the stand outs for me. I definitely want to hear more from Jeannine based on tonight’s perfect introduction.
With almost no break between, Lucy May was up on stage belting out the brilliant ‘Hooked On Your Love’ and, as it transpires, with the same backing band. It turns out the band comprises of a split of members from Lucy and Jeannine’s band, some of whom had only managed to practice together that very day! A proper shout out has to go to the band and how brilliant they were all evening; in particular KT (Katie?) on bass who played some fantastic licks throughout the evening.
Back in 2015 Lucy May released her debut album Whirlwind and its been a regular spin in my collection since I first heard it. The songs are catchy, the right side of poppy, and have a beautiful take on the country sound and lyrical content. The mix works so well for me, and the result is a perfect example of what it is that makes the UK Country scene so exciting.
Lucy effortlessly recreates the vocals on Whirlwind with the band punctuating the songs to bring a live edge to the sound which makes them even more appealing. Tracks like ‘Paper Heart’, album title-track ‘Whirlwind’ and the very emotive ‘Hole In My Heart’ take on a whole new persona live.
Recently Lucy has been in Nashville recording her second album, and we were treated to a few tracks from that also. Based on what we heard tonight, I cannot wait to hear her sophomore effort.
Broadcast should have been busier than it was. Both artists (and THAT band) deserve to be heard more, and I hope when either of them head north of the border once more I get the opportunity to be smug enough to say, “I remember seeing them in Broadcast” and not in this cavernous venue!
Check out Jeannine Barry and Lucy May on the usual streaming sites or buy your own copies from them directly.
Photos: Gareth Fraser at 3rd Mile