For those of you that don't know, I'm a big fan of country music. This is less dominated by twangy banjos these days, but there are still a lot of songs about love, cold beer, and trucks. Generally a love of cold beer and trucks, though possibly of high school sweethearts too. Frankly it's an ideal complement to my other cool hobby of birdwatching, and makes me the all-round "hey, I wanna be that guy" guy. Not. But I don't care, I absolutely love it, as those who have been on long-distance twitches with me driving will know. The Country2Country festival (such a great title, so much hidden meaning...) is becoming an annual event, and takes place over an entire weekend. There is now sufficient demand for this genre that they're able to fill the O2, and what was almost a sell-out last year was a definite sell-out this time around. Last year I only went to one of the days, and saw amongst others two massive names, Vince Gill and Tim McGraw (look 'em up!), but this year I went the whole hog and was there both days. The line ups were Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, The Dixie Chicks, and the Zac Brown Band, followed on Sunday by Chris Young, The Band Perry, Rascal Flatts, and finally Brad Paisley. Just so people can understand quite how popular they are, I did a protracted search on the wikipedia, and between them these eight artists have won 20 Grammy awards, and sold a massive 83 million albums (and that's just in the US), 29 of which went platinum (or multi-so), with a further 10 gold. This is big, big stuff. Dixie Chicks album Wide Open Spaces sold 12 million copies. That's more than Automatic for the People. More than Back to Black. More than Harvest. More than The Lion King soundtrack.
|Lots of this. NO shame.|
Pretty much a perfect weekend as far as I was concerned, let down only by a distinct lack of Wheatears. Partial redemption on the way back from the Sunday gig with calling Tawny Owl as I walked home from the bus. When I got home I ordered eight new CDs. Twitchers beware.
|Yes, some brainwashing did occur....|