On Tuesday 19th April, Demi Marriner performed at the Actress and Bishop in Birmingham, launching her debut country EP ‘Tracks and Trails’. The EP is a wonderful introduction to an incredibly talented performer and songwriter who is a refreshing addition to the UK country scene. 48 hours later, the EP was sitting at #1 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart, a phenomenal achievement for an unsigned artist, which gives you some idea of the true potential Demi has. In fact, she is the first country artist to independently chart at #1 since The Shires did it with ‘Brave’. Impressive!
When you watch Demi doing her thing live, it’s no surprise as to why she has built the following she has. She perfected her art busking in Birmingham City Centre and performing residency gigs all around the UK, and it’s clear right from the off that you are witnessing an experienced, confident performer. She graces the stage with no fear and draws the crowd in with her infectious personality. Not to mention her well-crafted lyrics and memorable hooks that audiences connect with instantly.
She kicked off her show with ‘C You’, the opening track of the EP and a song Demi has been performing for nearly a year now. An incredibly catchy foot-tapper which had the crowd dancing and singing along from the first note. Demi treated us to performances of all four tracks from the EP, including personal favourite ‘Pretty’ which seems to get better and better with each listen. This is also the track that showcases Demi’s vocal talent the most, with a challenging chorus that really tests her range. She passed it with flying colours; a stunning performance that was greeted with a huge round of applause from her adoring fans.
A special mention has to be given to ‘Gone’, a newly written track that will be on Demi’s next project. A song about “being trapped by someone and trying to get out of it…being free and enjoying life”. Most of the track is just Demi with her guitar and a gentle piano backing, before the drums and electric guitars kick in for the last chorus. It’s a truly stunning track and a very personal one, written from the heart; definitely a future single in the making. Spine-tingling stuff!
‘Moving On’ is another new track that we had the opportunity to hear. This one is totally at the other end of the spectrum; a fantastic rocking track filled with energy and attitude. Think Miranda Lambert’s ‘Gunpowder and Lead’ – it’s difficult not to notice the resemblance (a very good thing!). It shows that Demi isn’t a one trick pony in the slightest – she can go from the touching ballads to the up-beat rockers seamlessly.
She also performed a few really impressive covers. ‘Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet’ from the TV show Nashville was a particular highlight; she certainly gives Hayden Panettiere a run for her money! Also, Demi did a gorgeous cover of ‘Late To The Party’ by Kacey Musgraves, the artist who inspired her and started her love for country music. When the show finished, the audience chanted ‘One More Song!’, so Demi returned to perform ‘My Church’ by Maren Morris, a fantastic sing-along tune that got everybody involved.
Demi is certainly one to watch, make sure you go and check her out at a show near you. All the dates are on her website demimarriner.com. You’ll struggle to find a more talented live performer in UK country music.