Photos by Kendall Wilson.
As well as providing some of the biggest names in country music, London’s C2C Festival also prides itself on showcasing some of the most exciting new voices emerging across the genre.
Ashley Cooke has been building a buzz in the US through her endearing collaboration with Brett Young, ‘Never Til Now’, along with a slew of impressive singles.
The Floridian’s set at the BBC Radio 2 stage took the packed-out crowd on a breezy, windows-down cruise down the A1A, with Cooke’s smooth, honeyed vocals creating a laid-back, easygoing atmosphere.
That’s not to say the energy levels weren’t high, and as Cooke highlighted on the Spotlight Stage and at the After-Show party later that evening, she’s no stranger to the demands of a rowdy, dive-bar crowd.
At one point, the singer-songwriter invited everyone to sing the infectious hook to ‘Back in the Saddle’ while she stood and smiled back at the jubilant crowd. She also performed ‘It’s Been A Year’ - her timely summation of what she described as a crazy twelve months. Live, the song embraces the many euphoric highs she's experienced this past year while acknowledging a range of sobering lows.
Cooke also tested out a new, unreleased track, ‘Dirt On Em’, which playfully outlines the kind of man she'd be looking for. It's another earworm underpinned by clever wordplay, and in case Cooke was in any doubt, judging by the audience's response, she'll definitely need to include ‘Dirt On Em’ on her upcoming album.
After Cooke’s performances, London’s audience members will have left with an appreciation of the warmth and heart that the rising star injected into every song - and they’ll have also left with an eager sense of anticipation for Cooke to return to these shores for another show sooner rather than later.
Taken from Ashley Cooke's show at The Indigo O2 in London, UK on March 10th 2023.
Back in the Saddle
Dirt On Em
It's Been A Year
Never Til Now
For more from C2C Festival 2023, see below: