Nashville Meets Chelts – The Swan Inn Cheltenham

If you end up at a student music gig in Cheltenham, (which I would highly recommend to start with) then you will usually find yourself in the Frog and Fiddle. The F&F is a fantastic music venue but for intimate and chilled gigs doesn’t always have the right vibe. For the ‘Nashville Meets Chelts’ gig.

The cosy barn conversion, draped in fairy lights and candles was already music to my ears. Paired with gorgeous country sounds from Georgia – Maria, Charlie Aitken, Will Mawer and Demi Marriner, it gave Cheltenham the vibe it needed after a long day in the sun.

KZG productions work on a number of gigs across the year in Cheltenham, finding young talents and showing off their skills in regular gigs. Georgia-Maria, one of the organisers of the evening was up first. At ease on the stage, Georgia kicked off the evening with her pure and soulful voice that she laid bare for the audience, with no need for fancy frills or distracting gimmicks. She had Jazzy Heath accompanying her on guitar and backing vocals and the pair made people look up from their pints and peer through the windows. She ended her set with an original song called ‘Wake Up World’ – which is still stuck in my head – which she has just released this as a single on the FriendsNotFood Facebook page. Pouring her emotion into this last number it’s clear this means a lot to her, as she really connected with the song via the powerful lyrics.

In contrast to Georgia’s innocent and angelic voice, Charlie Aitken sang with a deeper tone as he played guitar himself. He pleased the audience (and me in particular) with a cracking set list featuring Joelene and Islands in the Stream. He was an indulgent dose of slightly cheesier country songs which was very much welcomed.

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Will Mawer is no stranger to a solo set, after leaving his band, Ten Tombs which brought him onto the music scene, last year. His gruff and breathless style gives him a memorable edge amongst other male singers I’ve heard. His guitar playing is also second to none. Will brought an effortlessly cool vibe to the evening as he strummed through a mix of slow sultry songs such as ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and heavier tunes such as his original song ‘Just Don’t Need To’. His EP is out soon so be sure to keep an eye out for it! 

Demi Marriner wrapped up the show with an incredible set accompanied by Robbie Cavanagh on guitar. Demi oozes country vibes as she relaxes and entertains the audience. A voice with such control and sophistication as well as youth and excitement. Demi is already big on the country scene with her EPs which climbed up the iTunes charts with ease. She has also recently been chosen as the Showcase Artists for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and it’s not hard to see why. She had audience members shouting “I love this song” at her original material and in awe of her skill and ability. I am sure she will go far.

None of these “student musicians” are working at a student level. They are all incredibly professional and successful artists with a long line of work ahead of them. So don’t be fooled by the stereotypes of a student gig, give one a go and guaranteed you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

For more information and to keep up to date with KZG production gigs then go check them out at https://www.facebook.com/KZGproductions/

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