Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison
I’ve recently been introduced to country music through the music of crossover artists such as Lady Antebellum and the hit TV show Nashville so I was really looking forward to going to Parr Hall, Warrington on Friday night (3 November) to watch A Country Night In Nashville. The show promised to “recreate the scene of a buzzing honky tonk in downtown Nashville” in order to do this the set consisted of large curtains creating a bar scene complete with pictures as a backdrop with the band’s instruments in front at “Crazy Joe’s Live Lounge”
The band were Dominic Halpin and the Hurricanes featuring Shelly Quarmby. As soon as they appeared on stage the band immediately began to entertain the crowd with their brilliant music. They played many different songs, some very familiar such as Its Five O’clock Somewhere, Crazy and Ring of Fire as well as some that were completely new to me like Girl Crush, The Fireman and Blame It on Your Heart. Every song was performed impeccably.
Dominic Halpin is a brilliant entertainer, he engaged really well with crowd and had everyone laughing. As the evening went on Dominic introduced us to the rest of the band, John, John, John, Ben and the extremely talented Donna Marie. (That’s not a typo, there really were three Johns!) The majority of the songs were performed by Dominic and Shelly Quarmby however Donna Marie came from behind the keyboards and dazzled the audience with her amazing voice and guitar skills. My favourite part of the show was when Donna Marie and Shelly stripped things back and performed some acoustic songs. As a complete newcomer to country music I found the show was a fantastic introduction to artists that I either didn’t know or had heard of but never had much exposure to and has definitely inspired me to delve deeper into the rich history of Nashville musicians.
The only criticisms I could have were that I felt the traditional theatre style seating in rows was perhaps too formal for this kind of show. It wasn’t particularly easy to move in your seat although lots of people got round this by dancing in the aisles. I also felt at times the on stage interactions between the musicians was a little over rehearsed and a bit wooden however that was definitely forgiven the moment the music began.
Overall this was a fun show full of fantastic music and very talented musicians. I think it would appeal to longtime fans of country music as well as people like myself who are just discovering the genre.
For other shows at the Parr Hall in Warrington visit www.pyramidparrhall.com or call the box office on 01925 442884.
Pyramid & Parr Hall, Cultural Quarter, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL