If you’re a country fan, you’re in luck. There’s plenty coming up in Manchester to satisfy your country music cravings. Whether it’s pop country, country rock, bro country or the more traditional Nashville sound, you’ll be able to find something over the next few months with some of Nashville’s biggest starts coming to town.
We’ve picked out some of the acts coming to Manchester and it makes for quite a list!
Miranda Lambert / Ward Thomas - 19 August - O2 Apollo
She’s undoubtedly one of the biggest names in country music. Miranda Lambert returns to the UK following her 2016 Country 2 Country Festival headlining show at London’s O2 Arena. The Grammy Award winner and Female Singer of the Year (she has won this award six times at the ACM and CMA Awards) released her latest album The Weight of These Wings, a double-CD in November 2016. The Highway Vagabond Tour stops of at Manchester’s O2 Apollo on 19 August as one of four UK dates. Adding to what will undoubtedly be a great night, support comes from the outstanding Ward Thomas.
Maddie and Tae open their new tour at Manchester’s O2 Ritz, returning to the city after selling out Manchester Academy last year on their debut UK tour. Maddie and Tae boldly introduced their debut single Girl In A Country Song shortly after signing with Dot Records. Featured on their debut album Start Here, on which they penned each of the eleven tracks, the U.S. platinum-certified breakout hit soared atop the Country radio charts and made them only the third female duo to peak their debut single at #1 in the history of the Billboard Country singles chart. You can read more about the duo's approach to gigs and writing for their new album in our interview with Maddie and Tae last year.
Maddie and Tae image courtesy Alysse Gafkjen
Courtney Marie Andrews - 24 August - Deaf Institute
One of the fastest rising singer-songwriters, Courtney Marie Andrews, returns to the UK for a new tour including a Manchester gig at the Deaf Institute. The show comes one day prior to the re-release of the Arizona native’s 2013 album Honest Life. Courtney Marie Andrews has drawn comparisons with a diverse array of artists including Emmylou Harris, Judie Sill and Townes Van Zandt as well as modern acts Laura Marling and PJ Harvey as she channels country, indie, folk and alt-rock.
Mo Pitney and Frankie Davies - 3 September - Night and Day
Rockford, Illinois born singer songwriter Mo Pitney embraces the classic country sound, something which earned him a standing ovation during his Grand Ol' Opry debut. That debut was something which came four years after he moved to Nashville determined to make it as a country singer having spent his formitative years hooked on bluegrass, playing the banjo, learning guitar (after switching from drums aged 12) and cutting his teeth on Johnny Cash numbers. He released his high successful studio album Behind This Guitar in 2016. Support comes from the fantastic Frankie Davies, who is definitely an artist to see.
A Jess and the Bandits show is pretty much a sure fire guarantee of an excellent, high energy, full on country rock/pop show. They've shown it time and again when coming through Manchester at Soup Kitchen and Gullivers amongst other venues and always feature heavily on the festival circuit. This is a must see show.
Little Big Town - 28 September - Albert HallGrammy Award winning country superstars Little Big Town released their seventh studio album The Breaker earlier this year. The album topped the Billboard Country chart following its release. The band first entered the music scene more than 18 years ago and have since enjoyed huge success with the singles Pontoon, Tornado, Day Drinking and Girl Crush, whilst scooping multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM Awards. The gig marks a return to Manchester following Little Big Town's previous show at The Ritz with The Shires.
Kip Moore - 3 October - O2 Ritz
Kip Moore returns to Manchester following his incredibly received gig at Manchester Academy (and his road side after show!). Over the last few years, Kip Moore has spent most of his time on the road, building one of country music’s most loyal audiences. He has built a reputation for crowd-pleasing shows and appreciation of his fans, even to the extent of occasionally performing for an extra hour or so outside the venue after curfew. His new album Slowheart is due for release shortly.
Lady Antebellum - 4 October - Manchester Arena
Nashville’s Lady Antebellum composed of Hilary Scott (lead vocals), Charles Kelley (lead, background vocals and guitar) and Dave Haywood (background vocals, guitar, piano and mandolin), formed in 2007 and have since racked up more than 18 million album sales worldwide, earning seven Grammys along the way. They recently released their latest album Heart Break to strong reviews. Lady Antebellum will perform at Manchester Arena.
Jarrod Dickenson - 13 October - Deaf Institute
Texas born Brooklyn resident Jarrod Dickenson returns to the Deaf Institute. Genuine country albums are not complete without tales of cowboys and corporate greed, and Jarrod is a hand at depicting the struggles of the working man. All the while, he also proves his versatility as a writer by using his own colourful narrative as a backdrop to pen intimate ballads detailing the pitfalls of love and the constant struggle to be the best version of one’s self.
Thomas Rhett - 12 November - Manchester Academy
Thomas Rhett made a fantastic Manchester debut at the O2 Ritz back in November and he has wasted no time coming back, as he promised when we spoke to him. Rhett promises (and gives) shows filled with energy but they are more than just that, filled with excellent tracks from the CMA and CMT Award winner’s album Tangled Up. You can read more about touring, writing and winning awards in our interview with Thomas Rhett. Rhett's new album, Life Changes, is due for release in September 2017.
Lucie Silvas - 16 November - The Ruby Lounge
One of the finest vocalists and musicians we have heard in a while (as evidenced by her excellent show at the Deaf Institute), Lucie Silvas performs four UK shows in November, including one at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge. The UK born singer and songwriter has achieved massive success with her own music as well as writing for other artists. She currently has songs on both Miranda Lambert’s and Reba MacEntire’s new albums. Lucie Silvas has also been recording the highly-anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed, Letters To Ghosts album which she self-produced and released this past year. You can read more about Letters To Ghosts in our interview with Lucie Silvas. Mississippi native Charlie Worsham will also return to the UK as main support on all shows.
The Cadillac Three - 18 November - Manchester Academy
The Nashville natives bring their love of a hard-rockin’ good time to a city which knows a thing or two about enjoying itself. Comprised of Jaren Johnston (lead vocals), Neil Mason (percussion) and Kelby Ray (lap steel), The Cadillac Three are well-known for their electric intensity and songwriting proclivity. Pals since high school, the bandmates’ musical fusion has found a ready home in the UK, where they’ve built a loyal following with multiple sold-out headline dates. Support comes from the duo Brothers Osborne.
Another Grammy award winner, Maren Morris makes her Manchester debut at the Ritz. The American singer, songwriter has performed two years running at London’s massive C2C Festival and released her major label debut album Hero in 2016, featuring the huge hit My Church which saw the country starlet achieve mainstream success. Her success in the US is quickly being replicated with Maren Morris appearing on the likes of Later… with Jools Holland in the aftermath of C2C.