There was a brief moment of raw punky energy among all the manly roots rocking on Saturday’s bill of the Country 2 Country festival when Carl Perkins’ Blue Suede Shoes burst on to the big screens to trail a major documentary series on the history of country music which will air this autumn.
Music review: Country 2 Country: Saturday, Hydro, Glasgow ***
How the manicured strains of modern country will compare with the Sun Studios trailblazers is a poser for posterity but there was no doubting the popularity of polished country rocker Keith Urban, who headlined the bill with down-to-earth affability, sending greetings from his former tour buddy Billy Connolly, generously showcasing his bandmates’ varying vocal abilities, performing a succession of virtual duets with airbrushed vocal partners on screen and failing to get through most numbers without a distracting breakdown or some form of audience participation.
But nothing beat the human touch of his guitar-picking mettle during a pacy, powerful instrumental display nor a rather unruly foray into the crowd during which he gave away his guitar to an overwhelmed young girl before returning to the stage for a turbopowered finish.
Elsewhere on the blokey bill, Brett Eldredge positioned himself as an Urban-in-waiting with a mix of rote roots rocking, gurning guitars and mediocre vocals before varying the tone with a groovy bluesy boogie and some sentimental solo troubadour material.
Like her obvious heroine Dolly Parton, singer-songwriter Cam is no dumb blonde – behind the retro facade of fringes, satin and rhinestones were wilting tales of heartbreak and bolshy declarations of revenge to inch her creatively ahead of her male counterparts. - Fiona Shepherd