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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

LIVE REVIEW: C2C COUNTRY TO COUNTRY 2024 - EMILIA QUINN - ICON STAGE & THE BARRELHOUSE STAGE

Appearing at C2C 2024 is another massive leap for Emilia Quinn - an opportunity to reach out to a large number of new fans and to show off her talents as both a solo acoustic performer, the format with which she'll be hitting the road later in the year and also as leader of a kick ass, loud rocking combo. In truth she's more than equal of doing either however they were distinctly different events.


EMILIA QUINN - C2C 2024

The ICON stage situated on the first floor among the O2's plush shops was to be Emilia's "acoustic" C2C debut, There was certainly a sizeable crowd there to witness, as Emilia in jeans and jacket took to the stage - her eyes hidden behind a pair of tinted frames. An opening salvo of "River" and "Mr Shame" certainly got everyone warmed up Emilia, slightly leaning back as she would play her guitar - totally comfortable with stopping playing to get the crowd singing along.


EMILIA QUINN - C2C 2024

As Emilia moved on to "Outlaw" she seemed born for such moments - once again encouraging the crowd to singalong. The acoustic setup was a given for songs like "Mistakes" with its recurring riff however the change of guitar from black to white took was where things would be taken to another level.


The introduction to "Rosary Beads" was interrupted by one of the numerous tannoy announcements however Emilia was the only artist we saw actually interact with the disembodied voice. This performance was one of the perfect moments of the whole weekend - with Emilia's big soaring notes swirling around the O2's high ceilings.


"Nothing To Lose" was another moment #TEAMw21 had really been looking forward to - where Emilia would step back from the mic and power out the "Through my veins" line.


With a host of UK Americana's finest looking on such as fellow w21Records artist Kezia Gill and Morganway - the set would close out with the magnificent "High" - Emilia not afraid to leave a pause and able to deliciously extend the word "High" over many syllables - a short set yet an absolute triumph from start to finish.


It was then on to The Barrelhouse Stage for the Emilia Quinn Band to make their "electric" debut. This was to be an entirely different kettle of fish, there was a lot more to quickly set up and there were a lot of faces standing out there waiting to be convinced. Dressed in her "Starchaser jacket", with a few minutes so go Emilia did a look a little more flustered than usual flitting repeatedly across the stage which may explain her opening "How you doing Town House, Town Square - Barrelhouse!" greeting - It would be one of the few signs of nerves and was soon forgotten.



EMILIA QUINN - C2C 2024


"Are you feeling good?" she would ask before acknowledging "There's a whole lot of you out there!"


Things would commence with "Daddy's Girl" a track from "Wanderlust & Breaking Rules" the one that in fact provides the title for the album. With an Americana meets Madchester guitar and a pumping bass sound this was a noise like nothing else the Barrelhouse stage had seen. Adding to this was Emilia's assured rocking vocal - it all made for a captivating starter.


With a nod to "International Womens Day", next up was "Girl Talk", the rootsy combo of attitude and sisterhood - It would see Emilia adopt a variety of vocal styles, rocking, sassy, and knowing - she was a mistress of them all. The chorus with it's ever rising section was a delight topped off with a searing guitar solo. it would see Emilia come to the front of the stage with her white guitar looking out at the assembled crowd.


Having opened with "Daddy's Girl" the onlooking parents had their score levelled on Mother's Day with a first band run out for a song written for her naturally called "Momma" the final verse ending with a "Thank you for always being there". There was then the slow drum beat that would lead into "Worse Than Whiskey", possibly the only slightly missed step in the set, not that it wasn't perfectly performed - it was a stunning tour de force but possibly too slow to hold the greater room.


If anyone's attention had slipped, Emilia soon recaptured it with a little Freddie Mercury call and response fun with the crowd, before bringing the vibe back with a fearsome "Mr Shame", an outright rocker that was unstoppable - Emilia could not have looked more pleased as she sung the line


EMILIA QUINN - C2C 2024

"I got a big personality" - "She looks great" someone would cry out and indeed she certainly did


A quick look over our shoulder would see nothing but the sight of bouncing heads nodding along in time as far as the eye could see..


Keeping the rocking vibe going was "Magpie" with it's heavy guitar work throughout and Emilia crying out "She's mine" extending the word "Mine" over many syllables in the chorus.


The closing song "Backroads" would see Emilia relocate to playing keyboards, this is the song that blew our minds at Buckle & Boots last year and it represents the gateway to a whole new level of success if she can maintain writing to this level. This is mainstream writing and should have crowds of thousands holding up their phones in unison. After a first verse of just Emilia on piano, it developed into a stunning anthemic sound. It saw Emilia use all her vocal talents to their absolute peak - an undoubted highlight of the weekend - in a set as as good as any that the Barrelhouse stage would see across the whole festival.


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