SaraBeth and Glen Mitchell at Gullivers 29th September – Katie Louise Ingram

Set in an upstairs lounge in a pub situated on the lively strip of the Northern Quarter in Manchester, and the penultimate night of their UK tour, Friday nights entertainment was brought to Gulliver’s by a Texan country girl and an Essex country guy who moved to Nashville in 2001 and has toured with the likes of Darius Rucker. The evening saw an intimate acoustic gig filled with their well known hits and new tunes accompanied by plenty of interaction with the audience and lots of chat and laughter along the way.

Supporting Sara and Glenn was Jodie Mckay an Essex girl who the audience later found out was Glenn’s sister. This singer songwriter kicked off her slot with just her and a guitar with her brother Glenn introducing her to the stage. One of the songs that stuck out from the set was about her being 29 and her parents were constantly nagging her as she wasn’t married and just watching her life go by. Another song that the audience responded well to was her telling everyone to stop overthinking and let’s start living. The words to each and every song she sang were very relatable and written about real life situations while one of the numbers that really stood out was a song she described as close to her heart about her mum – she advised the audience she didn’t know how she would get through it. After listening attentively to every word and Jodie close to tears the climax of the song was met with a massive applause from the audience. She wanted to end on that song but the audience was asking her for one more. As she wasn’t prepared for the request she decided to do a new-ish happier song that she hadn’t rehearsed but the audience didn’t care and just wanted her to sing. The end of her set gathered great applause from the audience.

The time came for Glenn and SaraBeth’s set and it was evident they came ready to sing their hearts out – also to party as it was the second to last night of their UK tour and they knew how Manchester liked to party. Prepared each with a drink in hand they both came on stage. From the first song it was clear why these two were touring together – their voices blended well and they gave great additional support  to each other throughout the show, with Glenn playing guitar on SaraBeth’s songs and SaraBeth providing backing vocals on Glenn’s numbers. An ideal song to kick off their set was SaraBeth’s classic “You Rock my Rodeo”. A perfect song to kick off a Friday night country gig once the audience heard this they knew they were in for a treat! SaraBeth and Glenn introduced each other and explained how the set will work – they would do two songs each and go back and forth. They admitted they may not be able to count if they carry on drinking the whiskies they were being bought by the audience! It was evident there was no set setlist with them, relying on interacting and asking the audience what songs they wanted to hear. SaraBeth accompanied with a shaker in hand continued with her catchy new song ‘Something About It’ which she confirmed would be ready for pre-order next Friday and out 27th October. Glenn’s turn and accompanied by his guitar he started his set with a song about the ‘one that kind of got away’ then onto a song he confirmed he wrote in Malibu –  “Amazing Again” about his ex wife and their relationship.

A highlight of the set was a Phil Vassar cover “I’m alright” with much of the audience singing along to the country favourite and then another crowd singalong for a Glenn classic “My Car’s Waiting Outside”. SaraBeth joked she had to follow that and chose “Miss you anywhere” before explaining this was the first song she wrote in Nashville. The song came about from a page out of her journal where she wrote about splitting up with her boyfriend in the city. The set also included the fun “Girl scout Cookie Monster” where the audience participated in the chanting in the middle of the song “Girl Scout! Girl Scout!”

Another highlight was a true Mancunian favourite and an absolute crowd pleaser – a country version of the Oasis classic “Wonderwall”. This was met with a singalong from the audience and huge applause from the crowd. Ending on a choice for the audience between SaraBeth’s classic cover of “I want it that way” and “I’m sick of It” the loudest cheer went to the Backstreet Boy’s classic and the audience once again joined in. Glenn and SaraBeth’s set went way past the alloted time and they admitted they didn’t want to stop and could carry on for hours. The pair thanked the crowd for their constant support and the reaction they received each time they are here.  They then informed us that they want to come back again and again! I’m sure it wont be long before they grace us with their presence again here in Manchester!

Review written by Katie Louise Ingram

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