The Manchester Deaf Institute is one of my favorite venues in Manchester. So despite the wet and conditions, we have had a months worth of rain in 12 hours, I ventured off into the city centre for a night of country music.
She had two support act for the night. Onstage first was Gary, whoever printed the stage times seemed to forget he had a surname. He performed a small three song set. The first song in the set list was called Shame, I didn’t catch the name of the second and the third was his “Sexy song” named body language. Overall it’s difficult to really judge someone with a limited amount of time however out of the songs he performed I enjoyed the middle one the most.
Next up was Laura Oakes. She opened her set with “Better in Blue Jean” A song about someone who has gotten money and it’s completely changed them. Now being part of the corporate ladder and is no longer the person they knew. It was a good introduction to her music. She followed up with a new song called “How Big is Your World” about all the amazing places she gets to visit. Then onto the title track of her EP “Nashville Stole Your Girl.” I have got to say I really like this song. It has some smart lyrics name dropping a few country legends. Rounding out the set was “Glitter” and then a new song called “Learn to be Lonely Again.” This was a good vocal showcase from Laura and was the perfect warm up for Sarah who was due to hit the stage next. She left the stage to a great reaction from the crowd. Her EP is available on Apple Music and is worth checking out, having not heard of her until this show I have added this into my music library.
There was a slight intermission while Sarah’s band of turtleneck guys set the equipment up. After C2C this weekend I was starting to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. I want to hear the same few adverts, for Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, CMA fest and Maren Morris on repeat damn it!
Finally it was time for Sarah to hit the stage. She quickly went into playing song from the new album Wonderland, playing one of the singles from the Album “Call Me” second on the set. Her set featured a good balance between some of her older stuff and new songs.
I particularly enjoyed “Where Cowboys Ride” which she got the audience to sing along with. She also managed to get “Halley’s Comet” on the set list right after. Being disappointed but understanding why it wasn’t played at Country to Country I was more than happy to hear the song tonight. This might be my favourite Sarah Darling song so gets a thumbs up from me.
Switching gears a little she then went onto a sad song about fighting addiction. From what I remember it was called Wasted. The lyrics seems to suggest it was about someone fighting an alcohol addiction but really could be applied to drugs or even gambling. Any type of addiction can ruin lives so could apply to any off them.
With a few new songs from the new album in “Times Lapse” and the other singles “Fire” and Diamonds” we finally got to the closing song. It was a fitting title to round the show up on with “Talk About the Weather” after all the rain we have had lots of people would have been talking about this.
Overall it was a fantastic night, of music from start to finish. If Sarah Darling is visiting your town I would recommend going to see her. Can’t wait for her to hopefully tour again over here in England before too long.