The British Country Music Festival has returned to Blackpool for the third year

Last weekend saw the return of the British Country Music Festival to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. According to reports, guest numbers doubled in 2021, and this year marked its third anniversary since its launch in 2019. TBCMF is described as supporting contemporary country-leaning songwriters from the UK and Ireland.

The three-day event provides a platform for grassroots and local artists to perform alongside more established singer-songwriters from country music, Americana, folk, roots and all different sub -genres. The venue features four stages, including the iconic Empress Ballroom, which creates a cozy atmosphere in a candlelit environment.

With a high talent threshold spread across the entire event, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone below average. Unfortunately, it was impossible to monitor everyone; however, I noticed a few remarkable acts.

This year, a few surprise headliners have been added to the mix – Tom Odell and Lucy Spraggan. It seems that TBCMF felt that the two artists share similar traits to country and American singer-songwriters.

Tom Odell put in a solid performance, as to be expected from a multi-platinum artist. The Brit & Ivor Novello Award winner went on to perform some of his well-known songs, including “Another Love”, which just racked up a billion streams on Spotify. A pedal steel player accompanied him from time to time, which I thought was a nice touch for the theme of the festival.

Lucy Spraggan went well, gaining a lot of crowd participation. She recently drew influences from the American folk-rock and country scenes while touring the United States, and this is reflected on her latest album. An obvious talent, she performed her popular songs including “Last Night” and “Tea & Toast”.

Laura Evans picked up the tempo on Saturday night with a stunning blues-infused performance. With her superb voice, she could easily be mistaken for an international band straight out of Nashville.

fardell poppy sounded good. Performing to a full house, she held the audience in her pocket with an impressive live vocal. His storytelling prowess was felt throughout filming. She’s definitely one to watch, and it’s no wonder she’s growing in popularity as an entertainer.

Robert J Hunter was an impressive act that happened on Sunday. Stringing together a few blues and rock numbers, driven by his impressive gruff voice – it’s no wonder he’s caught the attention of some big names in the industry.

Sunbirds brought a great sound of traditional American roots music to the stage. With a violinist, the group continued to perform an Americana-influenced set while exploring English-related topics. Anyone familiar may have noticed that the band is fronted by Dave Hemingway, best known for being the lead singer of The Beautiful South and The Housemartins.

canadian star Jess Moskaluke headlined the festival on Sunday afternoon and she did not disappoint. Taking on this year’s international headliner, Jess brought an energetic performance to the stage, with plenty of surprises along the way. Mixing country, pop and a bit of rock, she had something for just about everyone. Jess treated the audience to her popular songs including “Country Girls”, “Cheap Wine & Cigarettes”, “Mapdot” and “Kiss Me Quiet”. Midway through the set, she performed a number of acoustic covers, including Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One,” and even TLC’s classic “No Scrubs.” Other covers with the band included Taylor Swift’s “Style” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”.

With such versatile vocal ability, range and power, it’s no wonder she’s the first Canadian country artist since Shania Twain to earn CRIA Platinum single status. For me, she put in the best performance of the weekend, and who knows where we might see her next.

Andrew Braithwaite

Author: Andrew Braithwaite

Andrew is the founder and CEO of Music Talkers. He is also passionate about music and plays the guitar.

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