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Rianne Downey - Proving Country is alive and well, live at Gorilla

Manchester’s Gorilla played host to a spellbinding performance last night (Friday, April 26th) by a rising star of the Scottish folk and country scene, Rianne Downey. The venue, known for its intimate atmosphere, was the perfect setting for her soulful voice and captivating storytelling.



Rianne brought a touch of country to Manchester commanding the stage like a Scottish Dolly Parton with blonde hair and cowboy boots to match. Her rich vocals, accompanied by the cowboy-suited backing band, resonated throughout the packed Gorilla, creating a palpable connection with the audience.



Not knowing much about Rianne’s audience I was surprised to see a variety of ages in the crowd which made for an atmospheric crowd (despite the hecklers). Rianne commanded the room with effortless charisma, captivating the audience with her every word. There was a good atmosphere and encouraging more interaction during sing-alongs might be something to consider for future shows as the crowd was more than up for it.


Highlights of the setlist were the sultry stripped-back Paper Wings, providing a more intimate part of the show slowing down the pace to show a range of vocals and the incredibly catchy Dancing in the Rain which is apt for the usual Manchester weather! Rianne's playful rendition of The Beautiful South's Rotterdam highlighted the UK audience's reputation as fantastic sing-along partners.


By the end of the night, Gorilla was filled with the lingering warmth of a truly special performance. Rianne proved to be a talent to watch, captivating the Manchester crowd with her authentic sound and genuine stage presence.


Fuelled by the rise of artists like CMAT and Beyonce’s recent “Cowboy Carter” album, a new global audience is embracing

country music beyond its traditional US base. Rianne's captivating performance is a testament to the thriving folk and country scene in the UK, with a growing and engaged audience she is one to watch!

 

WORDS & PHOTOS KATE LEATHER


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