South-East London may not immediately spring to mind as a cradle of UK country music, but a new monthly event is hoping to change that.
The inaugural Americanarama Southside kicks off at The Brunel pub in Rotherhithe on the 30th September, between 4-7pm, with an all-South London cast showcasing the diversity of original country in the capital.
Event organiser Malcolm MacWatt (55), founder member of emerging country band The Glass Mountains, said: “There are so few grassroots events in London that feature country music, yet as a gigging band we know there’s an audience hungry for it.
“All too often promoters place a country/Americana artist on a multi-band bill that isn’t really suitable, and if you’re lucky there are a few country music fans in the audience. It’s all a bit random. Alternatively, some of the existing sessions feature a very narrow definition of “country” that just doesn’t represent the range of the genre today.”
He added: “Americanarama Southside just wants to let audiences experience every aspect of country – traditional to alternative, bluegrass to Nashville pop – and to give performers a chance to play for people who are genuinely into it. Chalk Farm Folk do a great country night in North London so we just wanted to do something equally exciting south of the river.”
For the first event, organisers opted to keep it “100% southside” with a bill featuring Rotherhithe-born alt-country grandmaster Gerry Scales aka The Lost Planet Cowboy, the sweet voice of Balham newcomer Shannon Hynes, Forest Hill americana-folk duo The Gillies, the Nashville vibe of Brockley’s Maletta Jackson & The Reputations and country-soul band The Glass Mountains from Catford.