We may all have been a bit hasty.
I’m as guilty as you are. Yes, I sang along with The Shires and everyone else, vowing to build our own Nashville here in the UK. Yes, I came back from my holiday in Music City wishing we too had streets paved with country music. But in all my hoping, wishing and daydreaming, it seems I hadn’t considered any possible downside. But now a downside is beginning to show.
The Country Clash
Back in the desert days of one country concert every blue moon, we would rush and rally to enjoy whoever had dared to cross The Atlantic. But lately I’ve been faced with too many Sophie’s Choice moments. Last November Thomas Rhett and Kenny Rogers played London on the same night (I chose Kenny). In Feb 11th a C2C social – the event we begged for more of – clashed with Nashville Nights, the event we can’t get enough of.
The Country Cult
I have non country-music friends of course. They have been my friends for a long time. The trouble is, I’m getting less and less inclined to smile through the concerts and nightclubs I had to put up with in the days of the country music vacuum. There is a growing divide as I choose to spend time with my new like-minded gig-buddies instead. I’ve still got enough humanity to know the Canaan Smith tour is not a valid reason to back out of a friend’s baby shower… but I’m not sure how long this rationale with last.
The Country Coinage
My enforced 2017 New Year’s Resolution was to set a gig budget… and stick to it. This was never a problem before building our own Nashville, but I’ve just finished my tax return and there’s nothing like going back through bank statements for a wake up call. It’s all added up – we can now go to multiple country gigs a week. So even if the tickets themselves aren’t breaking the bank, the bar bills probably aren’t helping.
So well done everyone… We’ve built a thriving country music community in the UK. The scene has grown beyond all hopes throughout 2017. My intake of whiskey (and buttermilk chicken) is also thriving in direct correlation.
For now, I will try to be grateful for the increase of festivals, homegrown talent and frequent visits from our American friends. I will try to remember what lovely ‘problems’ these are to have. And I will try to alternate the whiskey with water.