C2C REVIEW: Midland – Sunday 11th March 2018, The O2

Credit: Luke Dyson

Well, we all knew Midland were going be a great start to the Sunday (and final day) of C2C Festival. Putting a couple of drinking songs amongst a load of drunken ramblers on the last day of a country festival, pfftt anyone could do it to be honest… but, Midland didn’t just ‘do it’ they completely and utterly smashed it out of the damn arena.

Quite frankly, for me, Midland were the best band of the festival. I literally couldn’t fault their performance, they were outstanding. The O2 sound was perfect, after having some issues on previous nights. Their musicality was on point; you could clearly tell they were having a ball on stage (maybe due to a few too many whiskeys previously) and above all, they looked dayum good… jokes, okay?!

Perhaps one of the most traditional acts of the weekend, Midland stayed true to this expectation, in appearance and performance. Dressed in their infamous rhinestone suits, it was clear an effort had been made and maybe that this was kind of big deal for Mark, Cameron and Jess. With the traditional country sound in tow, the oozing bass, the twangy electric solos and the harmonies that could bring anyone to their knees, there’s no doubt about these boys’ heritage and that they don’t give a crap if people don’t want to listen, because this music runs through their blood and it comes from deep down within their souls.

Smashing out soon-to-be Midland classics such as ‘Make A Little’ and ‘Check Cashin’ Country’, they managed to slip in many album tracks from their renowned debut album, ‘On the Rocks’. This overjoyed me, as some of my favourite tracks such as ‘Burn Out’ were played. Midland have gained many fans, obviously with the release of their album, but I truly believe their true calling is performing live and due to this first UK visit and their intimate gig at Omeara, the fans are going to be flooding in. (The Omeara gig was easily one of the best gigs I’ve ever experienced.) When the inevitable ‘Drinkin’ Problem’ introduction echoed through the arena, the cheers loudened, the chairs became vacant and the beers were lifted… it was perfect. The arena lit up with phone lights following instruction from Mark, and 20,003 voices became one for the kind of lyric that connects all country fans universally – “people say I got a drinkin’ problem,but I got no problem drinkin’ at all”. Goosebumps, right there!

So, this performance is sure to be remembered by us Midland fans over here, but according to the boys themselves as they confided in the audience at their intimate Omeara gig on the Monday, “that was the best gig we’ve ever played”. Go UK! Don’t you all just wish you could have a drink with them? Well, go and see them on tour in December and you will do. There’s no doubt I’ll be there, they’re just addictive.

Shannon Hynes
@s_hynesmusic

Set List:

1. Check Cashin’ Country
2. This Old Heart
3. At Least Your Cried
4. Burn Out
5. American Girl
6. Jack and Diane / Dust on the Bottle
7. Dixieland Delight
8. More Than a Fever
9. Altitude Adjustment
10. Make a Little
11. Drinkin’ Problem