Nashville Meets London kicked off on Friday night with its NML Country Music River Cruise down the River Thames and boy (or should it be buoy?) did it deliver, writes Alison Dewar. Photos: Craig Dewar.
A perfect sunny evening and an enthusiastic crowd made for a great night’s entertainment hosted by Absolute Radio Country presenter Matt Spracklen.
Singer songwriter Vicki Manser (above) got the party started, mixing original music and toe-tapping covers, before Kyle Daniel took to the floor alongside guitarist David Henriksson.
Finally returning to the UK after missing out on the cancelled 2020 C2C (where he was due to play), this latest trip wasn’t without its own traumas as his beloved guitar was damaged en-route from the US. Thankfully, a replacement was found – and he also had time on arrival day to meet up with Max Lewis and the Electric Umbrella team – check out the fabulous video on Facebook if you haven’t seen it.
Back on the boat however, it was time to rock, as Kyle kicked off with Don’t Give up on Me Now and God Bless America, both tracks from his 2019 EP What’s There to Say.
“Man, it’s good to be back in London after only 819 days,” he said, admitting that at times during the pandemic he wasn’t sure if he would ever be back and making music again. A wedding to the lovely Kristen and the arrival of baby Archie changed his mind and changed his life.
As he told the crowd: “If anybody doubts themselves, if you take away nothing else tonight, it’s that you can follow your dreams too,” the perfect set-up for Following the Rain, the title track from his 2022 EP, and an anthem for anyone who faces more than their fair share of struggles with depression.
As the launch of his long-promised first full-length album, Kentucky Gold, edges ever closer, he treated us to some of the new songs, including the spine-tingling Deep in the Woods, together with Wild, Free and Easy.
Runnin’ from Me and Everybody’s Talkin’ (described by Kyle as his favourite) followed, before he wrapped the set up with Hangover Town from his self-titled 2018 EP Kyle Daniel.
With Matt Spracklen handing over to D J Hish to keep the music going with plenty of party tunes, as the boat slipped gently under the lights of Tower Bridge, it was the end to a fabulous night.
You can catch Kyle Daniel this Thursday (August 25) at Nashville Meets London at Trinity Buoy Wharf and at The Long Road on Sunday.
Nashville Meets London www.NashvilleMeetsLondon.com
The Long Road festival www.thelongroad.com