I was dancing to Trace Adkins’s ‘Honky Tonk Badonkadonk’ on Saturday night.  In public.  With other people.  Who all knew the words.  I’ll just give you a minute to let that sink in …

The Brooklyn Bowl at the O2 on Saturday was the closest thing to honky tonk this side of Nashville you will find in London and was the perfect setting for the first C2C Social with Hometown Show, Lucy May and Kristian Bush (of Sugarland).  The night had everything you could hope for, from a DJ who only plays country music to completely un-ironic line dancing.

Hometown Show kicked off the show with some excellent bluegrass and covers including a wonderfully random medley that included the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Pitbull and One Direction, just some of the artists I could spot.  Lucy May followed with some of her hits, entertaining the crowd with her sweet voice and leaving me with an overwhelming feeling that I need more fringe in my life.

Kristian Bush

Okay, you can’t see his face but at least he’s not blurry


But I have to be honest Kristian Bush completely knocked my socks off!  I’m not sure if it’s a) his voice (which I now maintain we don’t hear enough of on Sugarland songs), b) his stage personality which is laidback, lots of fun and a little bit of naughty or c) the fact that he came on stage with just a guitar and his brother on keyboard and owned the stage – that’s talent!  He performed a good mix of Sugarland classics – I have to admit his acoustic rendition of ‘Baby Girl’ hit me in the feels as I remembered making that call once upon a time – and songs from his new album, Southern Gravity.  ‘Trailer Hitch’ and ‘Flip Flops’ are now firm favourites on my playlist.

The night was capped off with some truly fantastic and fantastical dancing to the hottest country music.  Let me repeat that … dancing to country music in London.  @chertytwee I even danced to Sam Hunt and liked it!  As I understand it, the C2C Socials will be a monthly event and you have no idea how happy that makes me.  Sign me up for each and every one!

The horrendous events in Paris the previous night couldn’t be ignored (and shouldn’t be) but I loved how each artist addressed this in their own sensitive way and proved that music really does unite us all.  As Kristian Bush said, “music should make your hips move or your hear explode” … words to sing / dance / live by!

By JB for @UKCountryblog