A year earlier at the Paddock Stage for Buckle & Boots 2021, #TEAMw21 happened to find themselves sat next to Emilia Quinn. An advanced copy of "Medicate" surely any sensible persons Best EP of last year, had just arrived in our inbox, The sheer quality of the project allowed us to make the confident prediction that we fully expected to see her headlining here in 2022. With all due respect to The Outlaw Orchestra who were to nominally close things down later, this was the real headline act of the Paddock Stage, one that saw copious amounts of people leaving the Main Stage which was still playing, to ensure that they got a seat for what was expected to be one of the hottest slots of the Festival.
The set opened to a mass of thrashing guitars and the next 30 minutes were something of blur so much seemed to happen . The opening two songs were both unreleased as of yet, the first immediately getting the crowd involved clapping ( as it they needed to asked twice!!) the second a full on country song including the line with "Daddy pulling a gun". So much seemed to happening everywhere, "Outlaw" had Emilia really punching out the verses while the exaggerated American accent on "God Damn" in the chorus was hilarious. As a stage presence Emilia was magnetic - crouching down low to watch her guitarist play a solo before swinging around to face off against the other. With her frantic nodding sending her hair flying she was a photographers dream.
Inevitably the songs from "Medicate" would start to appear, and Emilia seemed incredibly focused on getting this perfect, giving only the merest hint of a smile as a "Whoop" rang out from someone who had indentified the opening chords of "Worse Than Whiskey". Delivered with a compellling intensity, it was only as the song approached its final seconds that Emilia allowed herself to smile, finishing with a bow.
The special moments came thick and fast, "One Of You" with just Emilia and her guitar at first, gradually upped in intensity as it developed. while "Nothing To Lose" from the "Firecracker" EP was a gloriously speedy band version.
The set would close with "High" Emilia stopping after the opening chords for a quick sip, before restarting. and unleashing a simply magnificent version with Emlia's blistering delivery matched note for note by her searing band. Things ended with a well and truly deserved standing ovation for one of the best sets of the entire Festival.
The only shame maybe was that although the Paddock Stage was packed, not enough people got to see this awesome set - never mind though they'll be able to catch up next year when Emilia will surely be gazing out from the Main Stage to the mass crowd.