One noticeable takeaway from this year's C2C Festival was the number of male singer-songwriters that packed this year's bill. While this year's event wasn't completely lacking in diversity, it certainly meant that the blokes with acoustic guitars had to really offer something special to stand out amongst the crowd.
Kameron Marlowe was undoubtedly one of those few; a grounded, passionate and bluesy songwriter with the songs to back it up.
The Sunday afternoon crowd in the Indigo Radio 2 Stage were even more packed in and rowdy than on the previous two days. As a queue just as long snaked around Gaucho and out the front door of the 02 to try and get in, Marlowe took to the stage to rapturous cheers.
Cracking straight into a rendition of Johnny Cash's 'Folsom Prison Blues', Marlowe immediately displayed his craft, taking the songbook staple and moulding it into a smokey-bar blues romp that sizzled under the North Carolina native's drawl.
With the crowd suitably warmed up, Marlowe delved into his own distinctive catalogue; tender, grounded songs that sparkle with aspiration for the simple, modest things in life. 'Girl On Fire' brings along another singalong from the crowd, as Marlowe displayed the great range of his voice and unquestionable adeptness with a chorus.
"As much as I grew up on country music, I grew up on a lot of blues," Marlowe goes on to explain, "so this one's about how a girl left me one day". With 'Ain't Enough Whiskey', the highlight of the set, Marlowe was not only able to express that love for a subtle blues lick but let a little more loose in his delivery, bringing to mind some of Stapleton's finest turns with his rasping baritone.
Marlowe is a pretty candid guy; he warms to the crowd quickly and isn't afraid to kick himself while he's down for a sly joke or two. "This song's about a girl that broke up with me; a different one from the last one" he laughs, adding a levity to the emotional weight of 'Over Now' that brings more mainstream artists like Lewis Capaldi to mind.
Closing out with another huge singalong in 'Giving You Up', Marlowe joins Nate Smith in being two of the standout songwriters in the plethora of those offered across the weekend.
Taken from Kameron Marlowe's show at The Barrelhouse Stage at The O2 in London, UK on Saturday, March 11th 2023.
1. Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash Cover)
2. Girl on Fire
3. Steady Heart
4. Burn 'Em All
5. Ain't Enough Whiskey
6. Over Now
7. Giving You Up
For more from C2C Festival 2023, see below: