REVIEW: Brothers Osborne – Live At C2C 2017, London

Brothers Osborne shook the country music world last year with their CMA win for Vocal Duo Of The Year, knocking the formidable Florida Georgia Line off their perch. The success of TJ and John has been astonishing; over 100,000 sales for their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Pawn Shop’, a #2 hit on country radio with ‘Stay A Little Longer’ and high-profile appearances all over the states. The excitement from the C2C attendees upon the announcement of Brothers Osborne was clear to see and they were one of the acts I was most looking forward to seeing at the festival.

They didn’t disappoint. You know exactly what you’re going to get from Brothers Osborne; deep, rootsy country full of heart and soul. ‘Down Home’ was their opening track which had the O2 crowd bouncing and singing along, followed by ‘Rum’. This is my kind of country, no fancy lights and stage production required; these guys have perfected their craft on the club scene over the years and their songs are as raw as they come. It’s always difficult opening the show at C2C as many people probably aren’t familiar with the music, but a couple of songs into their set, everybody could see the sheer talent these guys possess and it was a captivating performance.

‘Greener Pastures’ brought their quirky side to the forefront whilst maintaining their signature rough-and-ready style, a track co-written with fellow C2C artist Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd. This has always been a favourite of mine from their album and it instantly engaged the audience who were soon clapping along. ’21 Summer’ then received a phenomenal response; my personal favourite Brothers Osborne track with its soulful vibe and summery feel. A video of this performance can be seen below. There’s a wonderful warmth about the song and it truly reached its full potential in the live show.

‘Shoot From The Hip’ provided the real ‘sit up and listen’ moment. This is a track that has been around for almost 3 years but has just been re-released on the deluxe version of ‘Pawn Shop’. By far the heaviest track in their set, this gave the band the opportunity to let loose, ripping in to the electric guitars and shaking the O2 with the heavy bass line. Such a contrast to the following track, ‘Loving Me Back’, which was originally recorded as a duet with Lee Ann Womack. They stripped it right back to just a simple acoustic guitar, letting their raspy vocals dominate the performance, and it was a stunning showcase for their raw talent.

The moment everyone had been waiting for when the mandolin introduction to ‘Stay A Little Longer’ kicked in. You won’t find many better modern country anthems, and it really explodes into life with John’s killer electric guitar solo mid-way through the song. An absolute joy to experience live. Everybody expected this to be the final song of the set, but they actually left us with their latest single ‘It Ain’t My Fault’, a foot-stomping energy-filled powerhouse of a song that left us all wanting more.

These guys have got it all – the super cool country image, the deep, soulful vocals and songs that instantly connect with people. I’m sure they will have been one of the surprise packages of the festival for many and it was a proud moment to see them breaking out and impressing masses of UK country fans. They’re just getting started, watch this space.

Dan Wharton (@LifeInASong_UK)

Set List:
Down Home
Rum
Greener Pastures
21 Summer
Shoot From The Hip
Loving Me Back
Stay A Little Longer
It Ain’t My Fault