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Eric Church and The Cadillac Three at The Ritz, Manchester

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For Christmas, Cameron bought me tickets to see Eric Church at the Ritz in Manchester. Since it had been a while since we went away anywhere, we decided to get a hotel in the centre of Manchester and have the weekend away. Living in England, there’s not much opportunity to see country music played live, so I was incredibly excited to see one of my favourites, Eric Church, live for the first time!

I didn’t expect it to be too busy, but when we got to the venue 45 minutes before doors opened, the queue was already snaking around the corner. And by the time that The Cadillac Three came on stage, the venue was absolutely packed with hardly any room to even move to the bar. The variety of people in attendance was quite surprising too, people of all ages and who looked from all different social backgrounds coming together for a good time.

I’d never heard of The Cadillac Three before, but they were awesome. They definitely amped the crowd up and I came away from the venue and immediately started looking for their music online.

Which brings us to the main act. What can I say. Simply terrific. I would probably say that he was better live than on his CDs, simply due to the way that he interacted with the crowd and had us all joining in. I think he was quite surprised that people sang along to every single one of his songs, even the new album which has only just come out.

I have to say, it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to. Superb. If you’ve not heard either Eric Church or The Cadillac Three, you should definitely check them out.

Review: Brad Paisley – Diary of a Player

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Brad Paisley - Diary of a PlayerI’ve been wanting to read this book since it first came out a couple of years ago, but I’d never been able to justify the price (with it being an American book and not widely available in the UK). But my brother bought me it for Christmas this year and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

Brad Paisley is one of my favourite artists, and definitely one of my favourite country artists. His music is beautiful and inspiring, but also funny and catchy. I was pleased to find out more about the man behind the music. The book was primarily about his influences and the people who inspired him to become a musician, starting from his Grandfather buying him a guitar for Christmas, right through to meeting these country music legends and being honoured with the ability to play right alongside them.

As well as finding out a lot about Brad Paisley, this book also gave me a small insight into how the country music world works, and it’s a lot like I expected. It seems like no matter how famous you are, you’re still supportive of those up-and-coming artists who are looking to make it as big as you.

The book lets you in on Brad’s personal life too, for example the crazy story behind how he met his wife. But the part of the book that stuck with me the most was the end when he describes how his Grandad died, the biggest influence on his life taken too early and before he could see the success that he inspired. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried when I read this part.

This was a really well written auto-biography, it seemed very personal and friendly, almost like you were sat down with him listening to him reminiscing on the past.

5-5