Buckle & Boots 2023: Main Stage - Emilia Quinn
Having made a surprise appearance with Jeremy McComb the previous night - it fell to Jeremy as MC to introduce "the hardest working woman in show business!". Today was to be a chance for Emilia Quinn to appear on the Main Stage in her own right. Her recent singles have sought to capture the excitement that she generates when playing live, in a recorded format - it's a bit like catching smoke though. Those that were at last years Paddock Stage closer, witnessed a mixture of brilliance and chaos which fitted in perfectly with the end of day madness - today in the heat of the burning afternoon sun - the anticipation of something similar happening, saw a large crowd press up against the stage in anticipation.
The band would appear first, immediately kicking off the fearsome guitar intro into "Magpie" - Emilia would arrive shortly after holding the microphone in her hand revving up the crowd immediately. with
"Are you ready Buckle & Boots?".
Fairly soon she is blasting out the familiar
"She's mine - miiiiiinnnnee - she's mine" of the chorus.
"River" saw Emilia perform the a cappella intro before the song exploded into life with a combination of rock guitar, and pounding drum and bass. Emilia herself had her acoustic guitar which could still be heard above the overall sound however it was her vocal which effortlessly moved from the loud expressive chorus to the gentle high pitched harmonies leading out it that stole the show.
An early bit of audience participation on "Outlaw" saw them mouthing back the chorus however once again the highlight was really Emilia with her
"I want you love" line, the final word extended over many syllables. With the band rocking at full volume this was powerful stuff to behold.
A tease from the new album came with "Mr Shame", another all out rocking tune that took no prisoners - there was a line about "I got a big personality" but this was no time to be pulling out lyrics - you just had to absorb it as it hit you.
The afternoon would take an unexpected turn with Emilia paying tribute to her management maestro. The debut of "Keep Digging" seemed to join a funky "Keep digging" section, to a rocking chorus chant and with the aid of yet another searing guitar solo it went to make something special even on first listen.
A dive back into the archives would see one of Emilia's earlier tunes "Mistakes" reworked into a full band tune - beefing it up into an entirely different beast. A further song revisited is the current single "Nothing To Lose" initially starting in a similar vein to the original, before the band join in to give some extra oomph - the key line though comes with Emilia crying out "Through my veins".
You can always rely on Emilia for the unexpected and the closing section did just that - first off a cover of "Hound Dog" - returning the song to its more original country roots rather than going for an Elvis facsimile which was refreshing to hear. Then it was straight into "Girl Talk" with Emilia showing a real sense of stagecraft with her delivery as she relayed the events of the song to the audience.
The real jaw dropping moment was saved for the very last song and perhaps in this one song there was a hint of what the future might hold for Emilia and where it might take her.
it was different for a number of reasons, first of it started with Emilia at the piano, it came packed with emotion, in the introduction alone, let alone the song, as Emilia, just managed to keep herself together as she revealed "Back Roads" inspiration. It opened to just Emilia and her piano, the keys just lightly brushed, while her vocals were hushed and heartfelt, gradually the guitarist joined in but with his guitar only faintly audible. This was a concentrated vocal performance, the rocky theatrics of earlier put aside for the delivery of this one tune. It was probably her most straight forward country song of the afternoon - had it not been daylight there would surely have been a mass of phones waving with their lights on!! The band would fully appear half way through and turn things into a power ballad, giving a hint of the big production values the recorded version of this tune will require. This was an arena tune without a doubt,
The performance had seen confirmation of her debut album, a UK tour and if the #TEAMw21 crystal ball is still working correctly - set your watches for 2024 and settle down to watch Emilia Quinn headline the Main Stage at Buckle & Boots 2024.
Those wanting more live Emilia - UK Tour Dates Below
The album to follow in November