Last weekend saw the very welcome return of Buckle & Boots Country Music Festival. Set amongst the picturesque Manchester countryside, and run by the Hancock Family from the British Country Music Association, Buckle & Boots hosts some of the top UK Country talent as well as some chart-topping US Country stars. This year looked a little different with most of the US acts having to drop out due to travel restrictions but, luckily we have an abundance of talent in the UK that were able to step in and did not disappoint.
For all of you who couldn’t get there this year we were lucky enough to have the SRM team on the ground capturing all the magic…
Our ‘Stand Out’ Performances
Arriving late on Friday due to the M6 traffic (are you surprised?) meant that we missed the Songwriters round featuring Alyssa Bonagura, Gary Quinn & Tebey but, we definitely did not miss the absolutely smashing set by Gasoline & Matches. The duo have been country music fan favourites for a number of years - full of energy, rocking guitars and powerful vocals, they did not disappoint and opened the mainstage in style!
Saturday involved a fantastic interview with Alyssa (which you can read more about below) and catching up with Sammie (Three Chords Blog), Aaron Davidson (Unsigned Country) & Evangeline (BCMA) amongst others, before heading to the Paddock tent to see country music's favourite redhead and vocal powerhouse, Emma Moore. Emma knows exactly how to keep a crowd interested with her varied set that takes you on a journey. She can get the crowd going with her upbeat, rocking tracks, but just as easily, engage the listener with her effective, soul-filled ballads.
One of the leading duo’s in the country music scene is none other than The Shires and their performance showed exactly why that is the case! The set was full of throwbacks to their first and second albums including the heart-felt, emotional ‘Daddy’s little girl’ and fan favourite ‘Nashville Grey Skies’ but, also including their newer content including one of their latest collaborations, ‘Lightning Strikes’ featuring Lauren Alaina. From a song writing perspective, you can always rely on The Shires to stay true to their English-roots and never stray from their authentic, often simplistic, yet effective storytelling – there is no denying that I shed a few tears.
Sunday began with a heart-wrenching and powerful church service led by Festival Chaplain Lynn, accompanied by Kezia Gill and Jade Helliwell. Entitled ‘Love is not a victory march, it is a cold and broken Hallelujah’, it was enlightening to take time out of a busy festival weekend and remember that although the last 18 months have been incredibly difficult for many, there is room for unconditional love and plenty of people we can rely on to bring love into our homes and our lives.
Rae Sam took to the mainstage in the early afternoon and as a fellow ‘Welshie’, there was a slight feeling of home hearing the Welsh accent down the microphone. Full of diversity, influence and energy, a set that would be at home at any festival, country or otherwise. It was great to see a female powerhouse owning the stage and showcasing her incredible song-writing and vocal ability.
Vic Allen was an early standout performance on the Paddock Stage. Having seen Vic a number of times performing solo, it was a great opportunity to see her songs come to life with a band behind her. She is known for creating great hooks and I believe that it is a skill in itself to create a song where the story is so clear to the listener that they can see it visually – Vic has no problem in doing this! Each song comes from personal experiences – good or bad – that is authentic and relatable.
Recovering Satellites provided a really diverse set and grabbed our attention due to the fact that there wasn't another band like them. They combined rock, country, and americana elements to create a unique sound that was really exciting. We also had the pleasure of talking to them after their set and couldn't be more complementary of their great humour and kind, humble nature. A band that we will definitely be looking out for in the future.
Closing the mainstage was Tim Prottey-Jones. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Tim on the release of his latest single ‘Fire’ (Which you can check out here), and it was great to finally see those songs come to life with an extremely talented, well put-together band that definitely new how to put on a show. An eclectic blend of modern country and crisp pop production, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Tim on the mainstage next year.
Scarlet River Feature: Alyssa Bonagura
We had the incredible opportunity to talk with American Singer-Songwriter, Alyssa Bonagura before her high-energy, slick set on Saturday evening. Check out the interview below where Tyler Spicer and Alyssa talk production, songwriting, and her love of Liverpool.
Footage thanks to Sammie White and Three Chords Blog.
Interviews with Lisa T & Katie O’Malley
One of the best things about being back at festivals, is meeting people who you’ve spent the last 18 months following on social media. Stood in the queue for some Nachos, we ran into the wonderful Lisa T and Katie O’Malley. Listen to our impromptu chat below - find out what the girls think about the festival, who their standout performances were, AND be the first to hear about their brand new singles!
The Love of Our Country Community
The Country Music Scene has always been one of a complete family. Whether you’re an artist, a fan, or work within the business, everyone supports, loves and respects! What should happen on Saturday was no exception. On Friday night, a number of people’s glamping tents were hit by thieves, waking up to lost money, clothes and electronics. Despite devastation, all of the money lost was donation and raised in under 12 hours! Read more about this here: