Review of VAMOS Festival and Country Music Week News!
Well there’s so much to talk about on the blog this week! First of all the first announcement has come about country Music Week which is taking place in London in October. News broke during the C2C weekend that the organisers had set up a string of events in the capital promoting both UK and US acts and this week they announced those first acts. Following this, those acts announced more dates across the UK and tickets went on sale. So without further ado below we have listed all you need to know about those recent announcements.
Country music week is taking place from 2nd – 8th October with Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives playing on the 4th at Cadogan Hall and Kip Moore and Drake White confirmed for the 6th at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. Further tour dates for all three acts can be found below.
4th Oct – London
6th Oct – Birmingham
7th Oct – Gateshead
9th Oct – Glasgow
10th Oct – Manchester
12th Oct – Dublin
Kip Moore and Drake White
2nd Oct – Birmingham
3rd Oct – Manchester
4th Oct – Glasgow
6th Oct – London
However another great event happened in the past week, yes some of you may have seen on my Facebook page that I spent the weekend in Scotland at Perth Racecourse for Vamos festival which is a brand new festival of American style music which of course included Country music. Now it was a busy weekend for me as I was performing twice as well as interviewing artists for the blog but I had a great time and so did my family. Coming up in the next few weeks I’ll bring you interviews with Branch and Dean, A C Jones, Molly Adele Brown and Blue Genes to name a few but for now I’ll give you an insight into the festival and some of the stand out performances.
Our weekend began on the Friday when we arrived just in time to see Branch and Dean perform a very emotional track of theirs called The Dash. It is a song about the little line in between the year you were born and the year you die and how you choose to live that dash. After Branch’s son died from cystic fibrosis the duo has been raising funds and awareness for the charity so this song was very personal for the duo to sing. However their set demonstrated their versatility, the pair are hilarious, they know how to have a good time as well as how to get a meaningful message across and on both the Friday and the Saturday they really connected with their audience and for me were the stand out act. I love their track Your Ol Lady’s Gone, they closed their set with this song which spent ten weeks at number 1 in the UK. And the pair are as lovely and approachable as they are talented.
Friday night also saw the Scottish Blues Brothers take to the stage as well as Eve Graham and Marmalade. Eve Graham one of my mum’s idols actually brought a lot of humour to her set. In a sparkly dress she made comments about the Scottish weather as it began to rain but the show went on and the 74 year old told stories about the songs and her time in the new seekers before singing them beautifully. Marmalade were a lot of fun and still full of life as they sang songs such as Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da. The Scottish crowd despite the rain really got into the swing of things and were dancing and singing along, unfortunately for me my Dad cracked out his dance moves too!
My Saturday began with an interview with Ohio Singer-Songwriter Amanda Jones who goes under the stage name A C Jones. What a lovely girl! She took to the songwriter stage not long after and despite the low numbers in the audience she remained professional and blew me away, she was one of the stars of the festival for me. Her voice was flawless which isn’t surprising since she’s trained in Opera as well as being able to sing Country and she also had some fantastic songs of her own. After this I interviewed Branch and Dean and Molly Adele Brown, the Americans are lovely and were really pleased to be playing over here. I then joined my family and listened to some of Blue Genes set. On the Saturday they were in the barn playing some country covers and then on the Sunday they were on the Songwriter stage singing their own songs. Both days they didn’t disappoint and got a good reaction from the crowd, their own songs are just beautiful.
After grabbing some food and doing another interview I rejoined my family and we headed to see Branch and Dean in the barn and SaraBeth and Glen Mitchell on the main stage. Because they were on at the same time there was a lot of running backwards and forwards involved but we managed to see a good part of each acts set. We then went inside to the cafe bar and saw Stephanie Aird. Now this girl was great, she was hilarious she had the whole room in uproar and not only is she a great comedian she’s also a great musician. Her song 12 days of me diet was fantastic! She was so good the whole family went back to see her performance on the Sunday as well. After Stephanie performed on the Saturday, little old me took to the stage, she was a hard act to follow but for some reason the audience stuck around and gave me a chance and they were a lovely crowd to entertain!
We stayed at the cafe bar for Tanya Taylor who was performing a tribute to Karen Carpenter. What a great job she did as well and the audience really enjoyed singing along. We then caught the last song of Definitive Buble’s set on the main stage and ate burgers and hot dogs whilst we waited for Let’s Drift to take to the stage, a drifters tribute act. They came on and sang such hits as Under the Boardwalk, Saturday Night At The Movies and You’re More Than A Number In My Little Red Book. They did a great set and once again there was some dad dancing taking place but the main thing was that everyone seemed to be having a good time! Then after a short pause Johnny Lee Memphis took to the stage as Elvis. He had a laugh with a number of members of the audience giving scarves and kisses away but he sang other songs from the era not just Elvis numbers my favourite of his set was Can’t Help Falling In Love and I also enjoyed In The Ghetto. Much of the crowd were still there as we left, not wanting the night to end they’d had such a great time. At least there was one more day to go!
And Sunday came and we saw what we were told was a rarity… the sun! There was a cool breeze but we were warm sat in the sun. We arrived to catch the end of Millwood Duo’s set, they were good, Ashli brought a bit of humour to the set! Then I had to rush off and kick off proceedings on the songwriter stage. Blue Genes followed my set and after they had performed we did a quick interview with them – such a lovely family. Following this we split up again and half the family went to check out Stephanie Aird again and half of us went to Molly Adele Brown. Equipped with gummy bears and Can Koozies for the audience, Molly took to the stage singing a mixture of her own songs and well known covers including a medley of You’ve Got A Friend and Bear Necessities. I really liked her own material and inside my can koozie when I returned home I found a download code so I can continue listening to some of this she played like Spook the Horses which is my favourite! Then I headed across to catch the rest of Stephanie Aird’s set and once again she had us in stitches!
She wasn’t to everyone’s taste as some rude people made known, however I think they just lacked a sense of humour as everyone else enjoyed her performance and I am now very much a fan! Following Stephanie’s set we headed off and caught some of the Jersey Notes performance before I was told of this really great band in the songwriter room which I couldn’t miss. Sure enough Munro, equipped with a pedal steel, were ready to begin. They had some good songs and some touching stories behind their songs and they sounded all the more beautiful with a pedal steel accompanying them. After that we headed across to the main stage where The Pacemakers were about to start. Later PJ Proby joined them and they performed together, he told stories about the songs and about the various people he was friends with such as Elvis and then he would play some of their songs too. The last night was running slightly late and despite the lovely afternoon we’d had it began to rain but this didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Los Pacaminos and Paul Young took to the stage around quarter to 11 dressed the part in shirts and cowboy hats. They were great they really got the crowd going and were really lively. We had to leave not long after but what a great end to a wonderful weekend! Lynda and her team did a fantastic job. If you missed out on the weekend remember to look out for the name VAMOS as I’m sure they will be organising lots more great events and festivals in the future!