Live Review: Maddie & Tae (Bierkeller, Bristol)

Nick Headlines, Live Review

C2C 2016 Fan Favourites Maddie & Tae promised they would be back, and indeed they were on their first solo UK tour, hitting a number of main UK cities, finishing up in Bristol in the expansive Bierkeller.

The excitement for some more country music in the UK was amplified due to the predictable talking-points created by the C2C 2017 line-up announcement on the Monday, creating some heated arguments in the queue as well as some real excitement, especially amongst the younger fans in the audience.

Providing able support was Una Healey, formerly of The Saturdays, playing some acoustic Irish folk-style tunes. The set didn’t really do much for me, although all of the songs were very palatable, and the crowd seemed to enjoy her pop-sheened folk songs, particularly upon mention of a love-song duet she introduced as having been recorded with Sam Palladio of ‘’Nashville’’ fame.

Maddie & Tae then took to the stage to a much-swelled crowd, and a rapturous applause. Starting with their single ‘Shut Up & Fish’ was a good move, being their most upbeat song, getting some movement into the crowd early and cruising through the rest of the more sedate set.

Rattling through most of their debut album ‘Right Here’, real highlights for me were their ballads ‘After The Storm Blows Through’ and ‘Fly’, both of which are the two stand-out songs from the album.

Mixing things up with a number of covers was a mixed bag for me. Covering ‘’Landslide’’ and ‘’Cowboy Take Me Away’’ was really great, showing a depth of awareness about women-groups who have come before them, although I would say that Maddie & Tae have a long way to go to emulate the Dixie Chicks. Covering ‘’Umbrella’’, made famous by Rihanna was less welcome to me, as it didn’t suit their sensitive style so well, and was probably my least favourite moment of the gig.

As well as the covers, they made the effort to try out some new songs for their UK fans, including ‘’Mirror Mirror’’, ‘’We’re Gonna Get There’’ and ‘’Boomerang’’ which was written with Jana Kramer. This new material went down pretty well with the fans, as it appears to have on the tour as a whole. ‘’Mirror Mirror’’ in particular seemed to accumulate a lot of buzz, although personally it was my least favourite of their new songs. It was more of a similar writing style to their debut album, with quite a light, tongue-in-cheek writing style which isn’t so much to my taste, although ‘’We’re Gonna Get There’’ was much better, with a bit more sincerity in the writing.

Maddie & Tae always put on a great show, musically on point, entertaining and genuine with their crowd interaction. In the future I will look for an evolution of their writing, but for their live show, they are already there.

  Setlist
  1. Shut Up and Fish
  2. No Place Like You
  3. Right Here Right Now
  4. Waitin On a Plane
  5. Boomerang
  6. Mirror, Mirror
    (New Song)
  7. Fly
  8. Landslide
    (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  9. Downside Of Growing Up
  10. After The Storm Blows Through
  11. We’re Gonna Get There
    (New Song)
  12. Smoke
  13. Your Side of Town
  14. Sierra
  15. Umbrella
    (Rihanna cover)
  16. Girl in a Country Song
  17. Encore

  18. Just Fine
  19. (Dixie Chicks cover)


About the Author

Nick

I listen to music of all genres, including most of the sub-genres within country. I tend to focus on alt-country/Americana, but have a few loves within more mainstream circles. I am almost certainly the world's biggest Lee Ann Womack and Chris Stapleton fan, but my love of Aubrey Sellers, Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson is also the stuff of legend.