One of the most exciting things about C2C is the smaller stages dotted around the O2 during the day. Over the years, they have played host to hidden gems within the genre that have captivated the crowd and become stars within their own right just a year or so down the line. This year there are some stellar acts performing across the weekend on all stages and below we have picked out our must-see artists who are not appearing on the main stage.
Amanda Shires is appearing in the main arena but on the Spotlight stage on Sunday. Shires has released seven studio albums and founded the country supergroup The Highwomen. Not only is she an outstanding singer-songwriter but a brilliant fiddle player too. Her last album, ‘Take It Like A Man’ was recorded at the famous RCA Studio B. She penned all the songs herself alongside hit Nashville writers such as Natalie Hemby, Liz Rose, Ruston Kelly and Lawrence Rothmans to name a few, whilst fellow artists Maren Morris and Brittney Spencer contributed backing vocals. Shires is also married to Jason Isbell.
Recommended song: Don’t Be Alarmed
Pillbox Patti is the artist name of songwriter Nicolette Hayford. Under her real name she pens songs for other country stars such as Ashley McBryde but under her stage name, she writes from the heart which she wears on her sleeve. Her album ‘Florida’ has some hard-hitting subject matters which she tackles head on. Pillbox Patti promised us a show that would be fun and possibly slightly offensive so I’m excited to see what she has in store but I can guarantee that she is going to be one of the most talked about acts of the weekend.
Recommended song: Valentine’s Day
I saw Willie Jones in Nashville back in 2019 and was blown away by his unique artistry. I’m excited to see him this year after he unfortunately pulled out last minute last year. He seamlessly blends hip-hop and country music, paving the way for a genre-expanding sound that’s truly signature of Jones himself. Armed with more than 1 million followers across social platforms, he recently debuted his own Apple Music show called “The Cross Roads Radio.”
Recommended song: American Dream
Homegrown talent Remember Monday has what it takes to be the next big act on the UK scene. Well… they certainly have the talent to be, but do they have the time? One of the members of this trio, Holly-Anne Hull is currently playing Christine Daae in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera – my favourite musical (I’m obsessed with it!) I know she’s a professional but that is a big part to play as well as conquering UK country music with her friends Charlotte and Lauren who make up the group but these girls are so talented; they have the voices, they have the songs and they have the charisma to really make it! Their new record which came out last month is well worth a listen in its entirety but I have recommended a specific song below.
Recommended song: Where To Start
Last year, Caroline Jones became an official member of the Zac Brown Band but she has had a successful solo career herself. She’s been releasing music since 2011 but her most successful album came in 2018 as ‘Bare Feet’ made a dent in the charts and sold nearly 40,000 copies. She has performed at C2C before so she knows what to expect from her loyal UK following but I’m sure this year will be busier than ever. Her latest record ‘Antipodes’ was released at the end of 2021 and it includes the sassy single ‘Come In (But Don’t Make Yourself Comfortable)’ as well as the bluesy ‘Don’t Talk to Me Like I’m Tiffany’.
Recommended song: No Daylight