Back in September we offered three lucky readers the chance to attend Jack Daniel's birthday celebrations in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Today, one of our lucky competition winners tells you all about what went down with the drinking, the barbecues and the music. And then another one will be along shortly sharing their experience too...
I’d like to point out that not only do I never win anything, I also never enter anything, so in the grand scheme of things, all is rather fairly balanced. Winning a trip to a JD Set concert in Lynchburg Tennessee after speculatively entering during an "I should be working" moment came as a particularly fine moment and stand-out point of the week / month / year. So now that my smug-attack is out of the way, I’ll try and describe the trip and gig.
After around fifteen hours of travel from Gatwick to Nashville, we dumped bags and ran to the nearest barbecue joint to fulfil our wildest sticky rib dreams. After being more than sated (I thought the portions were to share, but oh no, we got one each), we made it back to the hotel to sleep fitfully, really geared up for the following day.
A side-note on Nashville: it’s a lovely place, very welcoming. But I have absolutely no idea how Kings of Leon come from this place. I can’t even begin to understand how you’d discover any music that’s not bluegrass and country in this city.
The Saturday entailed the journey to Lynchburg from Nashville, a tour around the distillery, a tasting, and then in the evening a barbecue on the hill overlooking Lynchburg and the surrounding countryside. Four things to note here – it really is a beautiful place, there are 317 inhabitants, all the JD in the world comes from this tiny place and a lot of it was served at this barbecue.
And so barbecue time morphed into gig time, and the acts, as they traditionally do, made their way through their sets one by one onstage. Only at this gig, all the acts were backed by the house band, The Silver Cornets, a band more used to playing country than backing Roisin Murphy I imagine. But hell could these guys play. They had learnt the backing parts to all the songs for all the artists – frankly an incredible feat. Tom Dartnell from The Young Knives was up first, his highlight being a cover of The Pixies 'Wave of Mutilation'. Hugh Cornwell popped on and off the stage throughout the night, playing duets with Tom and Roisin as well as some new tracks that were sounding great (apologies for the poor description – my Lynchburg Lemonade kept refilling itself all night). I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a duet of The Stranglers’ 'Peaches' by Hugh and Roisin was the highlight of the night, Roisin in a fabulous navy-themed jacket clearly loving the chance to sing 'Peaches', arms and legs-a-pumping.
Tim Wheeler, who I’d recently seen at The Roundhouse doing the nostalgia-fest 1977 gig (absolutely loved it) seemed to enjoy himself a lot, which quite frankly having seen Ash more times than I care to admit didn’t come as a huge surprise. The only downer on his set was that Ash’s music being for the large part straight forward great indie-pop tunes, the intricacies of the band arrangement have to come to the fore for the songs to shine as they should. As it was, The Silver Cornets probably weren’t that familiar with Ash’s oeuvre, and together with Tim Wheeler managed to make the set sound like a good 6th form band with Tim Wheeler doing Ash karaoke. The plus side being that it was a seriously unique experience.
Tom Dartnell from The Young Knives