Live Review: Little Big Town – Brooklyn Bowl, London

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C2C’s cleverly branded launch night hosted for the second year running at the fantastic Brooklyn Bowl has rapidly become one of the most anticipated annual events on the country music calendar and as a result one of the hottest tickets in town. Following in the footsteps of Lady Antebellum who played in 2014, Little Big Town were the perfect choice and played fantastic 15 song set to a welcoming crowd hyped by the announcement of the 2016 lineup.

With radio hits and critical acclaim for their Painkiller album, not to mention 5 CMA award nominations on the cards, 2015 is a golden year for Little Big Town. It was only February when they played Shepherds Bush Empire so we were delighted that they chose to return so soon. As a band, Little Big Town focus on their audience -they work hard to make that connection with each and every person and as a result their sets are dynamic and high energy. For me, this was as apparent in their performance to 70,000 people at LP Field for CMA Fest as it was at Shepherds Bush, but in the intimate setting of the Brooklyn Bowl they seemed to take it up a notch and the crowd clearly loved them for it and from the smiles on their faces, Karen, Kimberly, Jimmy and Phillip did too!

Making a dramatic entrance the band hit right note immediately using the long instrumental to “Turn the Lights On” to build anticipation and set the tone for the evening. The crowd buzzed as they followed with “Day Drinking” and “Quit”. “Front Porch Thing” ensured that the pace stayed strong, and as Karen introduced “Painkiller” “it’s coming!” a sea of heads bounced along to its calypso melody.

With no one lead singer, Little Big Town are a joy to watch as they seamlessly trade responsibilities and instruments. Slowing the pace to the bluesy strains of “Faster Gun”, Jimmy took the reins, dispelling any doubts or concerns following his surgery and backed by Kimberly and Karen and Philip on keys, the strength of vocals were superb on this standout track. With the band rocking and a huge smile, Phillip, clearly enjoying the welcome, took “Bring It On Home” before the signature layered to perfection harmonies returned on “Tumble and Fall”.

Chatting with the crowd, Kimberly and Karen referred to the C2C 2106 lineup as a real music lovers dream, and I don’t think any of us would disagree. I had the pleasure to interview the band earlier in the day and we talked about their collaborations with other artists and it’s clear that they love the music scene as much as we do and I won’t be surprised if they try to soak up the atmosphere and catch some of the pop-up acts at the festival in March.

With the pace slowed and the audience reflecting on those names on the lineup, Kimberly introduced the gorgeous “Sober”. Checking that we were still having a good time, “Stay All Night” followed (again, I was hit by the strength of vocals from Jimmy) and the band seemed to dial up their guitars as they headed into a rocking “Save Your Sin”, followed by a powerful rendition of “Tornado”. The party infused “Pontoon” meant that no one was going home early (or sober) and as Karen stepped forward we drew a collective breath for their CMA song of the year nominated “Girl Crush”. Aided by the crowd (this single is about to get a UK release) Karen delivered a spine tingling rendition and given the roared response from the crowd at the end, I did wonder if the glitter ball above the stage was going to survive the evening!

“Boondocks” took us back to Little Big Town before the fanfare of “Girl Crush” and the LBT of old. It’s the perfect get-together track and the band grabbed the opportunity to jam it to the very last note! Leaving us with something special, Karen Kimberly, Jimmy and Phillip performed a brand new song “The Beginning” in stunning 4 part harmony and with the lyrics “in the end you always go back to the ones who were there from the beginning” it was a fitting close for a band who are clearly loved by many this side of the pond.

We look forward to welcoming Little Big Town back to the UK for C2C 2016.

  1. Day Drinking
  2. Quit Breaking Up With Me
  3. Front Porch Thing
  4. Painkiller
  5. Faster Gun
  6. Bring It On Home
  7. Tumble and Fall
  8. Sober
  9. Stay All Night
  10. Save Your Sin
  11. Tornado
  12. Pontoon
  13. Girl Crush
  14. Boondocks
  15. The Beginning

About the Author


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I live for the experience of live music. Nashville is my kind of town and life feels pretty good at a country concert in the sun with a cold beer in hand. My appreciation of country came via my Dad’s collection in the 70’s and 80’s and I spent my teens listening to Springsteen. On a trip to the states about ten years ago I flicked to the CMT channel and Brad Paisley’s Whiskey Lullaby had me hooked. Since then my love of the genre has seen me travel to the US regularly to attend concerts, festivals and more intimate songwriter sessions in some great venues. It is terrific to see artists making the return trip this side of the Atlantic but equally refreshing to see some fantastic homegrown talent gaining recognition. This is an exciting time for “new country” and I am very happy to be along for the ride.

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Having been a music lover from an early age I have a broad musical taste, but for the past few years it has been totally Country Music focused. I enjoy Traditional Country, as well as many of its cousins, such as Americana, Honky-Tonk, Outlaw Country and Bluegrass. Having experienced the rapid growth of the country in the UK over the past couple of years, I created 'Nashville Over Here' to provide media-rich content to encourage the growth of the genre within the UK.