Hard Rock Country - Callum Gardner, Croft & Cotes, Rebecca Riedtmann, Connor Arnold, Danny McMah

When it’s a cold, wet Wednesday evening what better than to remember that the Hard Rock Café has a long line-up of Country acts playing for the princely sum of £5. So after jumping off the train, spending a fortune on a burger, getting lost coming out of Hyde Park Corner and eventually finding the (hidden) rear door to the Hard Rock basement it was time for some entertainment!

First on the bill was Callum Gardner. With the venue still fairly empty and an early start it was Callum’s job to get us warmed up for the evening. Callum’s style has a laid-back feel to it with long accentuations on some of the words. His debut single “Commit to the List” had a fair dose of reverb too. His second song “Hang Loose” which is coming out soon continued in the same vein, before “Without You” a love song with more jazzy overtones. By this stage the background noise was building up as more people started to arrive. His final song “Wriggle a Little” I’d class as a more Blues than Country style.

Croft and Cotes were up next. A 3-piece consisting of twins Matt & Dan Persell-Thompson on acoustic guitars with percussion provided by cajon. Their first song had a beach/summer sound to it with jangly guitars and a good back-beat. “We are it” continued the upbeat feel before “Devil on Your Shoulder” slowed things down with some good harmonies. This was billed as a song for when you’re down but was also pretty catchy! Throwing in a few covers to bulk up the set, we also had an Elvis medley and The Monkees “I’m a Believer” to get the now busy venue singing along.

The first female singer of the night was next on. Rebecca Riedtmann had a full band with her which really helped to enhance the sound. Her first song sounded familiar already, with a nice beat and got a really good reaction. Second song “Southern Dream” was Nashville inspired and continued to impress the crowd. “Whiskey & Wine” was a more upbeat song that served to highlight Rebecca’s vocals, Rebecca’s last song “Rust & Flames” was a tribute to her Dad and was a great way to finish the set.