The Barrelhouse Takeover at C2C 2023

Excitement mounts as we are merely days away from the biggest event in UK Country Music. Country 2 Country at the 02 is nearly upon us and this year we have something a little different to light our fires. Die hard fans travel from all corners of the country to sample not only the seismic line of of US artists, but we also get to see a light shone on
our own homegrown talent too.

The Dukes of Highgate may have only opened their saloon doors less than two years ago, but they have made one hell of an impact on the music scene. They have spared no expense in their efforts to curate the most authentic Honky Tonk in the UK; neon lights, wall to wall Americana music memorabilia adorn the walls and ceilings and their cocktails are to die for. They have over 100 types of bouborn on offer and have already had some of the finest musicians in the world set their stage alight. They have also just partnered up with Rack City Ribs and have a full time kitchen found in the back of their fabulous venue, and can be found serving their already loyal following some of the most delicious traditional southern delights I have seen this side of the water.

Theo, Ben and Sinead know how to do things right; and if you treat yourself to a night in this joint, you will see that everyone dresses the part, the drinks flow and you literally become members of the family. Not to mention the swathes of late night musicians who come for a post gig wind down drink and sing song. That says everything about the type of vision the team have and their commitment to implementing it right here for our Americana loving pleasure.

The guys at the Dukes of Highgate have teamed up with Countryline and Country 2 Country to create a whole new buzz. For three nights, whilst the crowds inside will be getting their arena fix; there will be a whole lot of something magical happening on the outskirts. The Barrelhouse Takeover will feature an array of unbelievably talented artists
performing alongside DJ’s, and there is even Line Dancing to boot.

The week kicks off with a double header on Wednesday night at the Dukes Head in Highgate; featuring Nashville’s Music Row veteran Sheyna Gee, the y’allternative Barbie in pink with a voice that will engage your soul and lyrics that cut deep. She is joined by Kelley Swindall, who is heading back over from New York with her storytelling genius and beautifully unique vocals and together they are sure to a be a big hit! Don’t miss them.

On Thursday night; the Hackney Hillpickers, a hard driving band from East London, harmonising their way into our blue grass hearts and featuring Luke Jacks, a truly gifted talent who displays the essence of bygone years in his performance; these guys are is one of a kind. Savannah Gardner will be gracing the stage on this night, and her bluesy style and authentic americana vibe hint towards her Californian roots; this is one lady you need to hear live.

Friday night is going to explode as the Outlaws are coming for ya! Sheyna Gee joins Matt Hodges, an artist like no other; this man from Wakefield not only has has expert skill, and a voice like golden syrup but is also a prolific songwriter and the kind of performer who holds the audience captive in the palm of his hand. The atmosphere is guaranteed to be electric with these two on stage. Grab a ticket, a drink and get ready for a wild ride.

If you want to be part of the party; Saturday night will have Kelley Swindall whipping the crowds up with mischievous delight at her artistic flair once the music begins and on this very eve she will be joined by the one of the most exceptional bands the UK has seen in years. Morganway bring a huge blend of genres and flavours to the stage. SJ and the guys are phenomenal performers and they will take you on a melodic ride you won’t forget. Mesmerising stage presence and musicality is waiting for you!

That isn’t it by a long shot; If you have used up all your energy by Sunday, and need some down time; head over to Highgate where there is a good ol’ southern Cook Out! The guys welcome you all to take a load off, and join the Hackney Hillpickers, Matt Hodges, Kelley Swindall and Savannah Gardner for a soirée of smoked foods all day long, world class musicians and a warm welcome until 1am. The party doesn’t have to stop until Monday!

The staff and family at the Dukes Head are proud and honoured to be part of this prestigious event and hope that this will be start of an exciting journey with the organisers at Countryline and Country 2 Country and we are all ecstatic to be part of it.

Article written by Jess T (

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