Originally from Penzance in Cornwall, Sam Palladio shot to fame when he was cast as Gunnar Scott in the TV series Nashville. The show ran for six seasons and was a smash hit with UK fans, leading Palladio and other cast members to play a run of sold-out tours. Since wrapping up the series last spring, Palladio has been working on original music and yesterday he returned to C2C for the first time in four years to perform his songs to a packed crowd.
Palladio arrived on stage to a roar of cheers and applause from the audience and opened his set with Hello Heartbreak Blues. The twangy, sparse song highlighted the soulful aspects of his voice as well as his great tone and clarity, and he hit some impressive notes as well. I also really liked the rocky touches he brought in, showing his further transition into his own sound.
One thing which particularly stood out during Palladio’s performance was the range of different styles he drew on. Adios Old Friend – a ‘goodbye to Gunnar’ – had a gentle, folky feel as well as impassioned vocals and atmospheric and honest new song Goodbye Blue tugged at the heartstrings, whilst the uptempo, rollicking Headed For The Fire saw Palladio’s vocals take on an almost sneering, snarling tone in places. It’s clear he’s keen to experiment with his sound and to embrace a range of styles, and given the huge crowd reaction it seems to be paying off!
Two or the standout tracks for me came in the middle of the set, with Going Electric and Ghost. The former highlighted Palladio’s rockier side, with a pulsing rhythm and a persistent, funky riff. He also showed off his guitar playing skills, with his fingers flying up and down the neck of the instrument as he jammed with his band. Meanwhile Ghost (written with Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro) embraced heavy rock sounds with its pounding beat, as well as bringing out the depth and edge in Palladio’s voice.
Palladio closed his set with an acoustic version of Wake Me Up In Nashville, a song he wrote about his late grandfather. It’s become a fan favourite here in the UK and is a great showcase for Palladio’s storytelling ability, as well as drawing out the richer tones in his voice. The song is clearly a very emotional one for Palladio and you could tell every word he sang came from the heary. He was rewarded with massive cheers from the crowd and it was clear he was very moved by their response.
Overall I thought Sam Palladio delivered a confident performance with a great mix of styles that showed he’s continuing to grow as an artist in his own right. It’s great seeing him explore a different side of his sound than we heard on Nashville, but also continuing to provide a nice balance between songs from the series and his own music. However, what’s stayed consistent are his storytelling skills and the amount of warmth and feeling he injects into his vocals. He’s sure to be one of the most popular acts at C2C 2019 so don’t miss out on your chance to see him live!
Set list: 1. Hello Heartbreak Blues 2. Adios Old Friend 3. Going Electric 4. Ghost 5. Headed For The Fire 6. Goodbye Blue 7. Wake Me Up In Nashville Performance date: 8th March 2019
See Sam Palladio live at C2C: Country to Country 2019 at The O2 in London this weekend:
Saturday 9th March – BBC Radio 2 Stage, 11:20 AM
Saturday 9th March – C2C Sessions, 1:10 PM
Saturday 9th March – CMW Hub, 4 PM