Buckle & Boots 2018 - Paddock Stage Nia Nicholls
The UK country scene is somewhat awash with startlingly young talent at the moment with a number of teenage performers and now we can add another one to the roster with our first viewing of Nia Nicholls, who at the tender age of 18 has already been to Tennessee four times and whose gig list ranges from playing the Belcourt Taps in Nashville to an upcoming date at the Holtwood Methodist Church Summer Fayre!
Admittedly at first on arriving in the tent and finding her singing to a backing track I was tempted to turn around and high tail it out of there but was assured by someone who had seen the opening numbers that I should stay and I would be rewarded.
As it turned out, at least the backing track was actually hers, recorded in Nashville and her singing on "Honestly I Tried" was captivating enough to warrant staying.
With her red dress and white boots she certainly looked every inch the country singer.
An unlikely cover followed in the shape of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and this was with Nia just playing alone with an acoustic guitar, the first song she learnt to play in guitar. This is where the performance really got going and "Close To You" about having a crush that left her so happy she was unable to sleep came with an addictive "Yo ho ho" chorus. This was followed by "He's Not You", not the Patsy Cline classic but a little classic in its own right about the wrong person loving you, a slower song complete with pauses.
For a first festival gig this was a good outing and I really look forward to hearing more of her own songs as she has a nice turn of phrase and good delivery.