Mairead got MC Russell Hills in such a flutter he introduced her as playing at C2C instead of Country On The Coast before hastily correcting himself. Playing with Tom Goble on guitar opened her set with “When The Stars Allign”, holding the microphone in her hand, delivering vocals with a smile while gently swaying from side to side. Next up a song Kaity Rae co write about being dumped, “You Left Me Crying On The Dance Floor” seems a pretty literal retelling of the events with a warning that these events are never forgotten.
The third song “Back Another Day” was about moving away from home, and Mairead was able to move to full belt out mode, with just a little Irish lilt creeping through The backing increased with the addition of bass and drums for an Emily Faye co write “Catching Feelings” a multi speed song with a distinctive deliberate guitar opening, leading into some snappily delivered lines before chorus arrived where the song sped up to a chorus full of “oohs”.
“If You Loved Me Once” followed, normally sung as a duet with Johnny Brady, todays version was performed solo, starting gently but soon building up with the addition of the bass and drums, including a bizarre section with Mairead vocalising the guitar break. A touch of the Kacey Musgraves followed with a cover of “Follow Your Arrow”, which was fun but she did not really get to stamp her authority on it, but it was a festival after all, so we’ll allow room for some crowd pleasers.!
Things slowed down for her forthcoming debut single “Searching For Ghosts”, with a really concentrated vocal delivery. The next song was so new it was only written last week “Going Somewhere” is the working title, punchy verses added to a catchy poppy chorus. Donning her own guitar she become the second consecutive artist to play a Chris Stapleton cover. If Darren Hodson was a natural choice to perform a Stapleton cover, Mairead was perhaps more of an outside bet, but by sandpapering Chris’s rough edges, Mairead was able to deliver a rich but beautifully smooth version of “Tennessee Whiskey” – without doubt her best delivered vocal of the set, this was in another league compared to the earlier Kacey cover.
Closing out the set with “Lately” an uptempo country rocker, with its “Do You Ever Think Of Me?” chorus, Mairead is an undoubted talent with bags of enthusiasm, if she can channel even half of that into her forthcoming material it should be an interesting year for her.