You don’t go to ‘NASHVILLE in concert’ without being a huge fan of the Lionsgate hit series Nashville so it was no surprise to walk into an all out love fest at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday night. Now on it’s fifth fabulous season, the combination of intense relationship drama and country music ambition has won over six continents and more than 100 territories. The timing has been just right for the huge surge in country music lovers across Europe with C2C festival now on it’s fourth year.

First onto stage was Charles Esten (aka Deacon), recovering alcoholic, grown up hearth-throb of the series. Dressed in a slick suit he was even better looking in the flesh, with a white-toothed smile to melt the entire audience. Next up was Chris Carmack who plays gay stud, Will Lexington. Dressed in cowboy boots checked shirt and jeans, his rendition of ‘Spring Revolver’ had the entire audience screaming.

Jonathan Jackson (Avery) got the biggest reaction of the night which might have something to do with his single dad, super supportive character in the series. No sign of his TV wife Juliette who along with rival Raina were notable absences in the line up. But they were soon forgotten with a smouldering performance from Jackson,
‘I quite often find myself needing to be rescued,’ he said gently, turning doe-eyes to the crowd, ‘and the best thing for me, is Love.’ Cue Bob Dylan’s ‘Love, Rescue Me’ so deeply felt, it brought the crowd to their feet and Jackson to his knees. ‘Unchained Melody’ which he dedicated to his wife on their fifteenth wedding anniversary (we tried to ignore that) was the stand out vocal of the night. Apparently his Dad used to sing that song when he was a boy so there was some suitably tear-jerking family history for us all to enjoy.

What became clear if you hadn’t already realised during the series was that these guys are serious musicians as much as actors. Probably musicans foremost in some cases. Sam Palladio (Gunner), who played some of his own material as well as show hits shocked the crowd by turning up with an English accent and peroxide hair. Turns out he’s from Cornwall and when someone asked about the hair he explained that after ten months filming he had an urge to take to the bottle (peroxide). Palladio came across as a likeable guy and really shone with ‘Wake me up in Nashville’ an original song about his pilot grandfathers lost love in Nashville.
There was only one female cast member to join the handsome male line up but she certainly stood her ground, or at least twirled around the ground a lot. Dressed as Titania getting married at a festival (glittery face, white floaty dress and bare feet), Clare Bowen sang one of the shows greatest hits, ‘Black Roses’ with depth and drama. She also gave a lot of love to ‘London’, so much love in fact that I began to get the feeling she thought we were all going to get blown up on our way out. But maybe I’m just a cynical Londoner.
What better time to be held in the famous Albert Hall hug with beautiful music, beautiful people and an audience full of twinkling (mobile phone) lights.