country in the afternoon

Country in the Afternoon, The Half Moon

Country in the Afternoon, The Half Moon

A fab country music festival in the heart of Putney…

The Half Moon is no stranger to music lovers from across London and far beyond. One of SW London’s most iconic music venues, it was the place of k.d. lang’s first UK appearance, Kate Bush’s first ever public performance and Elvis Costello’s monthly appearances for 50 pence and a plate of sandwiches. And last weekend, its stage hosted eight fantastic country music acts from artists on the rise and established.  

Spanning two days, Country in the Afternoon featured music from all geographical and creative corners of country landscape. Saturday saw The Outlaw Orchestra – a 3-piece of Southampton who, by their own admission, love both “rock-and-roll and irreverence” and so, created their very own subgenre affectionally called “heavy grass.” Edinburgh’s Lorna Reid attempts to cross the bridge between seemingly far detached worlds of jazz, blues, roots and soul – and successfully too, having been dubbed by The Times’ critic David Sinclair “Celtic country belle.” Coming straight from Nashville but born-and-raised in sunny California, Chase Stapleton was entertaining the British crowd with his combination of modern country and good ol’ American roots music – with a wee bit of California vibes thrown in the mix. And finally, Chloë Chadwick, a nominee for Best Female and Best British Act in 2017 at the British Country Music Radio Awards who had shared the bill with such country giants as Emmylou Harris and Lady Antebellum.  

My friend and I arrived at the venue on Sunday. It was pleasantly crowded with a good mix of people across demographics sipping on pints and cocktails whilst tuning into the rhytms from across the Atlantic. Robyn Red with her voice both sonorous and insanely musical was the first act – and it was her first-ever performance in London. The Scottish singer-songwriter has just released her debut single “Like A Bullet” which topped the charts all over the United Kingdom – including No.1 in Amazon country listings. Dan Olsen and Sack of Lions were as quintessentially country as it gets – although Dan is from Iowa and not Tennessee. I had a short chat with him and he expressed his love for British audiences and this country as a whole. Poppy Fardell, a talented and relatable storyteller, had a charming voice and personality as she narrated her tales of broken hearts. We couldn’t stay for the “country-rock storyteller” Jeremy McComb but with a performer that established (featured on the Billboard country charts!), his act was sure to be a bomb.  

This wasn’t the last Country in the Afternoon at The Half Moon. Come and experience the joy of country for yourself – and don’t forget your cowboy hat!  

Pictured: Dan Olsen