One Night In Nashville at Night People, Manchester

Its an exciting time for live country music in Manchester right now! We already have Buckle and Boots and various gigs being announced but One Night In Nashville have gone one step further and announced a residency for their shows in the heart of Manchester at The Night People! What an incredible day/night it is too! After attending my first one last week I will definitely be snapping up tickets for the next one in December that is for sure!


Kicking off the show was an in the round session showcasing a mix of incredible talent from the UK and US telling stories about the back story to their songs before performing them for the audience! Four artists took to the stage during this session; Stevie O’Connor, Maria Jordan, Oskar and Julia and Liv Austen who in turn each played three songs each within the round! Not going to lie the stage did look a bit cramped and slightly uncomfortable at times with all 4 artists sandwiched on it but they made it work and didn’t let it falter their performances. All songs each of them sang were great but from each performer there was one standout performance for me that really stood out for me within their sets.


Let’s start with Stevie O’Connor, the UK’s very own answer to Chris Stapleton, after waiting months since meeting him to see him play I was really excited to see this guy perform and let me tell you he was definitely worth the wait! You could tell that one song he was about to perform meant a lot to him as he kindly asked the audience to listen to the heartbreaking story of how he wrote this song about his best friends 7-year-old little boy who sadly lost his life. The song he was talking about was the beautiful song called Willow. The second he sang the first line of the song he drew me and the rest of the audience in and completely blew us away. It took everything in me not to tear up listening to the words of this song and you could see Stevie was also fighting back tears too as he sang. This powerhouse performer gave everything he had in that performance and completely wowed the crowd!


Maria Jordan, host and creator of this incredible event but also an amazing singer songwriter took to the stage to perform her single Mend, which was released Sept 7th. For me this was the highlight performance of her 3 song set. She explained how this was written after her fight with depression and how she wished someone had said these words to her when she was suffering and so it was written so others didn’t feel alone. That being said it’s an absolutely beautiful song to watch being performed acoustically and you can tell the lyrics have been written straight from the heart and are relatable to anyone going through the same kind of fight Maria once faced!


Next up was a duo from Salt Lake City, Utah Oskar and Julia. I can’t lie but the first thing I noticed about this duo was Julia’s boots, which she caught me looking at during one of their songs. Oops! Turns out after a chat with her after the show she told me she bought them especially for this visit! I need some boots like them in my life! OK this duo was very different from your usual country music – they have actually came up with their own kind of music genre, sauce rock. I like it, they explained that its different genres mixed together because that’s what their music is about! It definitely gave a different feel to the round sessions and worked. Rumble was the highlight for me funny enough written about Oskar who bought a pair of boots that made him feel tough which he explains he isn’t! Seriously if you want to experience a new genre of country music check these guys out, they are awesome!


Liv Austen closed each round and with every performance I have seen her do at various gigs I have literally fell in love with this girl’s music. It’s hard for me to choose just one song as a highlight but if I had to choose it would be the last song The Next Time, an absolute favourite of mine! This was the closing song for the whole in the round session and therefore the audience was all warmed up and ready for a sing along which is exactly what happened. Before she sang she told the audience Manchester holds a special place in her heart as it was one of the first places she performed where the audience sang her lyrics back to her and she wanted to have a repeat performance of that tonight! Needless to say the ever so catchy chorus had the audience doing just that and made for a perfect end to the set!

With the audience fully warmed up and everyone ready for the main show, it was time for the One Night In Nashville band to do their thing!

The main show was a full 90 minute set with a live band covering all your old and modern country classics. Kicking off the show with the Rascall Flatt’s classic to get the party started Life is A Highway was the perfect way to engage the audience! Throwing in some old classics from the likes of Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton they really got the audience going. It was really special for me to see this kind of atmosphere, everyone enjoying themselves listening to country music and singing along to all the classics together it was exactly like being back in a Honky Tonk bar in Nashville and it was amazing to experience that in my hometown. It’s exactly what I have been waiting for here! Throw in some free Whiskey shots and the amazing American food on offer it was literally the perfect Nashville inspired kind of day! Even throwing a little country disco to end the day I really didn’t want this Sunday Funday to end and I will definitely be bagging my tickets for the next one on 2nd December!

Maria Jordan said “I’ve always believed that if something is missing or you dont like something, change it. Be the change!” and what she has created here in the heart of Manchester is just what this town needed and is something completely special! I have been to London many of times just to experience a night like today and it makes me soo happy someone has finally put Manchester on the map and Maria should be so proud of what she and One Night in Nashville have created, a Nashville inspired experience like no other in the heart of Manchester!
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