Danielle Bradbery has come a long way since winning The Voice in 2013. The powerhouse singer released her self-titled debut album in 2013 after signing a deal with Big Machine Records. Her first single The Heart of Dixie was a hit on both the Hot Country and Airplay charts and in 2017 she returned with her eagerly awaited second album I Don’t Believe We’ve Met, which was a reinvention of sorts. The past weekend Bradbery has been performing at C2C: Country to Country 2018 in London, making her live debut on this side of the pond. To top off a very successful weekend, Bradbery supported Midland at their debut headline show last night at Omeara.
Arriving on stage at 8pm, Bradbery was accompanied by her acoustic guitarist as she launched into her 30-minute set. She kicked things off with Can’t Stay Mad, a song that the intimate but packed audience knew all the words to. Immediately Bradbery grabbed everyone’s attention with her incredible voice. For someone so tiny, she can’t half sing and her performance really showcased the powerful range she possesses.
What Are We Doing?, one of two Thomas Rhett co-writes on the album, was next up and it showed off a completely different side of her sound. The vocal is more restrained but no less impressive as she effortlessly moved into her falsetto on the chorus. Hello, Summer followed (also co-written by Rhett) and the breezy feel of the song translated well acoustically.
Human Diary, a song that has become somewhat of a favourite with UK fans over the course of C2C, was one of the set’s highlights. It’s hard to believe that Bradbery had no hand in writing it as she sings it with conviction and so much feeling. The pace changed after that as Bradbery gave a powerhouse performance of her debut single The Heart of Dixie and she admitted before she started that she’d forgotten how hard that song is to sing due to the length and range of notes. She pulled it off flawlessly.
The final two songs were Sway, which prompted a singalong from the audience that left Bradbery with a huge smile on her face, and the gorgeous new single Worth It. I was in awe watching how easily Bradbery can control her voice and she sounded especially fantastic on Worth It.
Earlier in the day, Bradbery had told me she gets more nervous in smaller venues but those nerves didn’t show through last night. Between songs she chatted to the audience in an engaging way as she explained the meaning behind each track, and she came across genuinely warm and funny. Vocally Bradbery is in a league of her own and, as I said to her yesterday, she really should consider releasing an acoustic companion album to I Don’t Believe We’ve Met. I have a feeling this will be the first of many visits to the UK for Bradbery and I can’t wait to hear those incredible vocals again.
Set list: 1. Can’t Stay Mad 2. What Are We Doing? 3. Hello Summer 4. Human Diary 5. The Heart of Dixie 6. Sway 7. Worth It Performance date: 12th March 2018