“As a kid, I dreamed of playing out here, it’s still kinda surreal. To play my music all around the world is pretty spectacular”
Two albums and four #1 singles into his career, Brett Eldredge finally made his first trip to the UK, playing at London’s KOKO on February 14. What more could you ask for on Valentine’s Day? Around 2000 enthusiastic country fans filled the venue, a significant indication of Brett’s rapid growth in popularity in recent years. We had never visited KOKO before, and we can honestly say it is one of the best live music venues in the UK. There is a lovely intimacy about the venue, and you are guaranteed a decent view wherever you stand. It made for a truly wonderful evening.
Brett took to the stage at around 9pm with ‘Fire’, a bass-heavy pop-country track from his stunning new album ‘Illinois’. The astounding thing about country fans here in the UK is the appreciation for EVERY song on an album, not just the singles, and this was evident right from the beginning. This was followed by favourites of ours from his first album, ‘On and On’ and his smash-hit ‘Beat of the Music’. During the latter, the crowd knew every single word and Brett seemed genuinely blown away by the sheer volume.
A clear highlight of the show was ‘Mean To Me’, where Brett allowed a fan named Andy to propose to his girlfriend Katie on stage. Such a special moment which encapsulated the spirit of the evening. Not to mention Brett’s stunning vocals, almost identical to the studio recording of the track. Congratulations to Andy and Katie, that’s certainly the way to propose!!
A few interesting covers were also thrown in along the way. Ray Charles’ ‘I Got A Woman’, Van Morrison’s ‘Into The Mystic’, Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Way You Look Tonight’…you can’t fault his effort to provide a bit of variety! Not exactly what you would expect from a country show, but entertaining all the same.
A special mention has to be given to Brett’s performance of ‘One Mississippi’, an absolutely gorgeous track from his first album. Co-written with Tom Douglas, the writer of ‘The House That Built Me’ by Miranda Lambert and ‘I Run To You’ by Lady Antebellum, this one is a stunner which sounds even better live. Just Brett with his guitar and a piano backing on this track is all he needed to bring the house down; you could have heard a pin drop at times. It was mesmerising, and definitely one of the most memorable moments from the show.
Brett soon picked up the pace again towards the end of the show, with foot-tappers such as ‘You Can’t Stop Me’, a track from the new album featuring Thomas Rhett, and ‘Tell Me Where To Park’. Brett’s new single ‘Drunk On Your Love’ provided another opportunity for the crowd to sing along, as well as ‘Wanna Be That Song’ which surely has to be a contender for his next single release. There’s a huge disco ball at KOKO which created such a lovely setting during ‘Wanna Be That Song’; something we’ve never seen before at a music venue!
The show ended with an encore of the rocky, thumping ‘Shadow’ and of course, the song that started it all for Brett, ‘Don’t Ya’.
It’s safe to say Brett’s first show on UK soil was a huge success. What struck us most was the connection between Brett and the fans; he even brought out roses to give away to people in the front row. Not to mention the snapchat videos that were recorded at various points throughout the show!
Before the show, Brett told us that he has always felt a special bond with his UK fans, and rest assured, he will be back very soon. In terms of vocals, personality and stage presence, you can’t fault him, and we’re sure everybody will agree that it was certainly fantastic value for money. Maybe he’ll be back for next year’s C2C, who knows?
On and On
Beat of the Music
I Got A Woman (Ray Charles Cover)
Mean To Me
Into The Mystic (Van Morrison Cover)
If You Were My Girl
Time Well Spent
Pony (Ginuwine Cover)
Lose My Mind
Going Away For A While
The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra Cover)
You Can’t Stop Me
Drunk On Your Love
Wanna Be That Song
Tell Me Where To Park